Video via Al Jazeera
Some of the world's largest energy giants are moving into eastern Australia and investing billions of dollars to exploit coal seam gas reserves so vast they could rewrite the world's energy map. Despite generating massive amounts of revenue and creating thousands of new jobs, they are being met by a groundswell of public protest and a rising chorus of concern about the long-term impacts of coal seam gas extraction on the nation's health, environment and land. Coal seam gas has the potential to make Australia an energy superpower, but at what price?
12 protesters were arrested this week during a demonstration of about 150 people at a coal seam gas drilling site. Activists had locked themselves to trees and trucks.
Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham criticized police for being forceful:
"It's a sad reflection on the coal seam gas industry that police have to arrest local residents and force their way through a community blockade so that they can drill for gas," he said in a statement.
"There is no future for coal seam gas in NSW if each drill rig needs to have a police guard to force its way into communities."
The protesters have been keeping a blockade of the drilling site going for nearly two months now, but police seem determined to break any protest that interferes with drilling.