I attended the Esso Longford community session on February 21 along with many other disillusioned local residents.
I am afraid to report that the evening was little more than the same spin from Esso that we’ve all heard before. One interaction however, did stand out at this meeting.
The exploration manager persistently corrected my use of the term, “coal seam gas mining,” preferring instead to call it “coal seam gas wells.”
Although the extraction of methane from the ground does not actually fall under the mining act, (rather the mineral act), the Oxford dictionary defines mining as the “extraction of coal or minerals from an excavation from the earth.” So how is it not mining then?
Whatever one’s definition you still can not substitute a verb for a noun.
It’s clever tactics from Esso, to call the practice a benign noun like “well” to imply little more than an innocent, innocuous hole in the ground. Sadly the adverse effects of the process of mining, extraction or drilling for gas are far more noxious than that little well in the ground would suggest.
Nice try Esso but we’re not that easily fooled.