Australia’s former deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, has weighed in on the debate over coal seam gas and food safety, saying it is essential for security to mine the resource.
Anderson is now the chairman of Eastern Star Gas, a coal explorer in New South Wales.
The company is in the final stages of a takeover by Santos.
The Financial Review reports that Anderson has rejected calls for CSG mining to be banned in the Gunnedah Basin, in northern New South Wales.
"We are not going to feed 9.3 billion people by the middle of this century without a new available and afford¬able source of hydrocarbons; that is a reality that the Greens run away from," he said.
"People who think that biofuels or ethanol are going to meet that need don’t understand what is happening in that sector.
“You can’t power a tractor with solar power, or make fertiliser out of wind power.
“You just can’t do it."
Yesterday Greens senator Christine Milne called for a debate on options other than fossil fuels.
"There is no evidence that coal seam gas, which is a fossil fuel, is going to do anything other than add a spike in methane emissions and actually accelerate tipping points," she said.
Anderson said he was passionate about ¬global food security, professing that it was not a question of whether coal seam gas extraction could take place alongside farming, but rather, "they have to".
He did say, however, that some regions should be off limits for development.