A river has erupted into flames after a Greens MP waved a kitchen lighter over the side of the boat to bring awareness to the methane gas bubbling in the water.
Jeremy Buckingham was left cowering on the side of the boat when flames licked his hands at the Condamine River, part of the Murray-Darling Basin south-west of Queensland.
The large bubbles of gas seen gurgling in the video posted online by the Greens MP are reportedly an ongoing effect caused by coal seam gas mining occurring less than a kilometre away.
The methane seeps in the river were first noted in 2012.
‘Holy f**k. Unbelievable. A river on fire,’ said Mr Buckingham.
‘The fracking just a kilometre away, methane coming up and now the river is alight.
‘The most incredible thing I’ve seen. A tragedy in the Murray-Darling Basin.’
The fire can be seen burning throughout the video and only appeared to subside when a local doused the flames with water.
‘This area has been drilled with thousands of CSG wells and fracked. This river for kilometres is bubbling with gas and now it’s on fire,’ he said.
‘This is the future of Australia if we do not stop the frackers who want to spread across all states and territories and do this to your community, to your environment. This is utterly unacceptable.’
Locals as well as Mr Buckingham believe the methane is not only effecting the river but is gradually causing greater damage to the environment.
‘There has been concern that fracking and extraction of coal seam gas could cause gas to migrate through the rock,’read the caption along with the footage of the river on fire.
‘Not only is it polluting the river and air, but methane is an extremely potent heat trapping gas.
‘Fugitive emissions from the unconventional gas industry could be a major contributor to climate change and make gas as dirty as burning coal.’
However earlier investigations led by an energy company that operates CSG wells in the district found a number of scenarios could have caused the methane seeps, reported the ABC.
According to the studies the seeps did not pose a risk to public safety or the environment.
‘We’re aware of concerns regarding bubbling of the Condamine River, in particular, recent videos demonstrating that this naturally occurring gas is flammable when ignited,’ said Origin Energy in a statement in 2013.
‘We understand that this can be worrying, however, the seeps pose no risk to the environment, or to public safety, providing people show common sense and act responsibly around them.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3554914/Politician-sets-river-FIRE-tries-methane-nearby-coal-seam-gas-mining-seeping-water.html#ixzz46d5sJkX5
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