According to Origin Energy managing director Grant King you can dress a salad with one the key chemicals used in fracking and drink or wash in most of the others.
In his speech to the Committee for Economic Development in Sydney yesterday King said the facts of the coal seam gas debate needed to be put in perspective.
According to the Daily Telegraph he also directly targeted the Greens and other environmental groups, which he accused of purposely distorting the debate.
King said it was a “simple lie” to say fossil fuels, including coal seam gas, were more damaging to the environment than renewable energy.
He said making solar panels required dangerous chemicals, and any increase in their use would be tied to higher production of toxic and corrosive materials.
“The scaling up of PV production would require the industrial scale production and transport of highly toxic chemicals through our cities and our suburbs,” he said.
He said demands for exclusion zones around CSG projects were contradictory from green groups that opposed similar exclusion zones around wind farms.
King said wind farms produced low frequency noise and “allegedly” caused negative health impacts.
He also said one of the main chemicals used in fracking was acetic acid, which was the main component of vinegar.
He said the audience’s salad could well have been dressed with the chemical.
But Greens deputy Christine Milne told the Daily Telegraph King’s comments could not be taken seriously and were typical of Origin Energy.
“Nobody should be the least bit surprised that the CEO of one of Australia’s most polluting companies is doing his best to hold back the growth of solar and wind technologies,” she said.