November 23, 2020

Gas lobby report is full of hot air

23 November: Climate activist organisation Australia says the latest report from the gas lobby group APPEA is full of hot air. 

APPEA released a report today written by Ernst and Young, one of their members, calling for further cuts to regulation, tax breaks and subsidies for the gas industry. 

Shani Tager, Senior Campaigner at 350 Australia said: “This report is not about helping Australia recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, it’s a blatant attempt by the gas lobby to use the crisis to slash environmental protections and get more subsidies for the gas industry.

“The gas industry is one of the least job intensive industries in Australia, it’s opposed by communities across the country and extracting and burning more gas is dangerous for our climate. 

ABS data shows oil and gas extraction employed just 18,000 people in 2018-2019, calling into question APPEA’s claims that enacting their agenda will create 220,000 jobs in the next twenty years. 

“This report is full of industry spin and hot air. The Morrison Government has already committed over $50 million in public funds to subsidise the gas industry and hasn’t been able to say if that money will create a single job. 

“The Government needs to rule out throwing more subsidies at the gas industry and instead focus on prioritising clean industries of the future that can create high quality, long-term jobs.” 

This report comes after recommendations from the Prime Minister’s handpicked COVID-19 commission, which has numerous connections to the gas industry, recommended similar subsidies and cuts to regulation. 

Numerous reports have shown that gas is not the solution for economic recovery or the manufacturing sector including: 

  • The Grattan Institute analysis that gas is on the decline, it’s increasingly expensive and benefits to manufacturing are overstated with fewer than 1% of manufacturing jobs in ga intensive industries.
  • The Australia Institute findings that subsidising the gas industry would create few jobs and companies pay barely any tax
  • Publish What You Pay’s analysis of gas companies who use secrecy jurisdictions and hidden company ownership and could be the ones who benefit from public subsidies. 
  • The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis found the Australian gas industry wrote off $25 billion in the first half of 2020 and domestic gas use has fallen by 21% since 2014.