News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Rio Tinto touts coal future over climate ‘idealism’; New Queensland farm laws curtail miners’ rights; and US leading gas export race, IEA warns producers.

Lou Caruana

Rio Tinto touts coal future over climate ‘idealism’

Rio Tinto's head of energy, Harry Kenyon-Slaney, says “idealistic discussions” about climate change should be abandoned and Australians should recognise that coal will remain an important energy source for decades, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Society needs to focus on technology to make power stations more efficient and to advance carbon capture and storage, because coal will continue to “do the lion's share of heavy lifting” to meet energy demand, the top mining executive plans to tell a Sydney conference.

“It is clear we can't just wish away fossil fuels,” he will tell the Energy Policy Institute of Australia.

His comments come amid continued campaigning against coal and coalseam gas on the east coast, involving blockades of rail paths and drilling rigs.

New Queensland farm laws curtail miners’ rights

Miners will no longer be allowed to start projects on Queensland farmland if they can't strike a deal with a landholder within 40 days under proposed laws, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The laws, due to be passed by parliament on Thursday, allow individual landholders to independently deal with miners seeking to start projects on their properties.

But Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says if a deal can't be reached within 40 days, miners will no longer be allowed to start a project while their application is before the Planning and Environment Court.

“It provides an incentive for the resources industry to negotiate with landholders and it puts landholders in a much more powerful position,” Seeney told parliament.

“It ensures that some of the horrendous practices that we saw in the early days of the last decade ... those practices that revolved around the Land Court 40-day rule, can no longer be used to leverage landholders.”

US leading gas export race, IEA warns producers

The International Energy Agency's gas expert has added weight to the argument that Australian gas producers will face increasing pressure from the US as it lifts exports to Asia, according to The Australian.

Anne-Sophie Corbeau, senior gas analyst at the Paris-based IEA, said US LNG was in a leading position in terms of sources of new export supplies of gas.

loader