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River Catches Fire Due To Fracking, Says Australian Politician

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An Australian politician is blaming fracking after he lit a river on fire in a video posted to Facebook last week.

The video shows Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham taking a lighter to the Condamine River in the country's Queensland province.

Buckingham swore in the clip as flames flared up beside his boat.

"Holy f***! Unbelievable," he said. "A river on fire!"

The video was shot close to some coal seam gas (CSG) operations. CSG is a form of natural gas that's found in coal deposits deep underground, and it's extracted through fracking — or drilling a well that pulls the gas up to the surface.

river fire
A still from a video posted by Jeremy Buckingham. (Photo: Jeremy Buckingham/Facebook)

Buckingham claimed the extraction process in the area is causing methane to come up through the ground, polluting both the air and the water in the river.

Environmentalists noted signs of methane seeping in the area after noticing bubbles on the surface of the Condamine River, Australia's ABC reported.

A study released the following year found that CSG drilling could be one of a number of factors causing the bubbling.

However, Origin Energy — which operates a number of CSG drills — said that the seeping posed "no risk to the environment, or to public safety, providing people show common sense and act responsibly."

Environmental risks of LNG

Australia isn't the only country where fracking is happening.

British Columbia is looking to have three liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities up and running in the province by 2020.

Unlike CSG, LNG is natural gas that's been cooled and turned into a liquid, which makes it easier to transport overseas. It, too, is extracted using a well.

Federal scientists have said that LNG poses a low environmental risk — but environmentalists are still concerned about the potential for explosions on LNG tankers, as well as the risk of fires resulting from spills.

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Condamine River set on fire after Greens MP lights bubbling - ABC

Australian MP sets river on fire and then blames fracking ...

Australian politician blames fracking after he sets river ablaze with a lighter