What the frack is gas?

Diagram of the levels of gas

Ever wondered what we mean when we talk about gas? And before you go there – no, not THAT gas. We’re talking about fossil fuel gas (and why it’s ruining our planet!).

What is gas?

Gas (also called fossil gas) is a fossil fuel. Like other fossil fuels such as coal and oil, gas is formed from the plants, animals, and microorganisms that lived millions of years ago.

And just like oil and coal, gas is a fossil fuel that is buried underground, which means the only way to extract it is by extensive drilling and fracking. This means that not only does it drive climate change when it’s burned, but even just getting it out of the ground is damaging our environment.

How does it get out of the ground?

Gas is either considered conventional or non-conventional – basically, whether it’s easy to get out of the ground or not. If it’s conventional, it’s extracted by drilling the ground. 

Unconventional gas is extracted by fracking the ground – this involves drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. The term fracking refers to how the rock is fractured apart by the high-pressure mixture.

Pumping water, sand and chemicals underground is bad for the planet – fracking requires huge quantities of water and the process produces highly toxic wastewater that can leak and ruin water and land. It’s even more of a risk if the fracking takes place offshore (in the sea) as it puts marine life including whales and dolphins at risk too. 

What happens when we burn it?

Gas is a fossil fuel and a greenhouse gas. That means burning and producing gas drives climate change. Greenhouse gasses released from the extraction, processing, export and burning of gas have been the main reason why Australia’s official fossil fuel emissions are so high. 

Gas will Fudge our Future – we need to ditch it!

Our Federal Government wants to pour millions of public dough into extracting and burning gas for Australia’s energy. This includes giving money to the fossil fuel industry and opening 5 new gas basins across Australia. This is a disaster in the making.

With all the potential for wind and solar clean energy in Australia – this just doesn’t make sense! Giving dough to the fossil fuel industry also won’t create new jobs or provide cheaper energy – unlike renewable energy which will create jobs, boost our economy and make energy cheaper – all while being clean on our planet! 

It’s pretty clear – gas stinks! Renewable energy is the cheapest form of new energy, and it doesn’t contribute to climate change. So let’s get with the future, and leave fossil fuels like gas in the ground where they belong.

Take Action

Want to take action to make sure our Government doesn’t pour millions of dough down the sink? You can sign this open letter from our friends at 350 Australia demanding for investment in people, not fossil fuels!