GIANT COAL MINE APPROVED FOR QUEENSLAND
The Australian government has approved plans for a giant coal mine in Queensland. According to the government, the mine could generate as much as $300 billion, with a resource value of $60 billion per year over 60 years. In response to environmental concerns, Environment Minister Greg Hunt emphasized that the mine was approved under very strict terms, including 36 federal and 190 state conditions and offsets of about 30,000 hectares for destroyed habitats. Despite these protections, green groups warn that the mine constitutes a “carbon bomb,” as its output has the potential to generate nearly 130 million tons of carbon dioxide when burned—equal to about one quarter of the country’s current annual emissions. They also fear that an increase in shipping due to the mine could damage the Great Barrier Reef. Director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis Tim Buckley feels that the mine could actually hurt the coal export industry, as it would increase the capital invested while bringing global coal prices down by 10-20%. For the full story, see http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/giant-galilee-coal-mine-gets-canberra-nod-20140728-zxl23.html.