Media Releases | 12th Apr, 2018

Governments hand $100 million to dangerous, dirty coal project

A proposed coal-to-hydrogen plant in the Latrobe Valley is a long way from showing it stacks up environmentally or economically, Environment Victoria said today.

Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle today said:

“It is very disappointing to see the state and federal governments each throwing $50 million of public money at the latest misguided attempt to do something with the coal under the Latrobe Valley.

“In 2018, using public money to prop up a project that increases our climate pollution just makes no sense.

“The Andrews government’s coal policy statement established that coal projects must be assessed transparently. There has been no public information or consultation about this project until the announcement the state government would spend $50 million on it.

“At this stage, the project has none of the approvals it needs, nor has it been through a rigorous environmental impact assessment.

“This boondoggle is just another example of companies pretending that the Latrobe Valley can’t produce anything other than coal. It distracts from the real task of planning a truly diverse economy.

“Japan doesn’t want dirty hydrogen, they want clean hydrogen. But today’s announcement simply creates a plant that will lock-in dirty hydrogen.

“A demonstration plant that produces dirty hydrogen is like proving an aeroplane can taxi along the runway when what you really need to do is show it can fly.

“Spending $500 million turning coal into hydrogen makes no sense when it can be just as easily produced from renewable sources like wind and solar, that don’t risk doing further damage to our climate and which will inevitably be a cheaper source of hydrogen.

“While carbon capture and storage could deal with the carbon emissions, we know that coal mining has many other dangerous impacts.

“We’ve already seen the disastrous health impacts of mining across the Valley and a project like this would simply lock in mining for the next fifty years.

“We don’t know how to clean up the mines that already exist. Making those holes bigger or more numerous just magnifies a huge, expensive and unresolved problem,” said Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle.

For interview and further comment

nick-aberle-profile-round

Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager
Office: (03) 9341 8112 Mobile: 0402 512 121
[email protected]

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