Australian MP sets river ablaze in protest against fracking

Sydney: An Australian politician has set fire to a river to draw attention to methane gas he says is seeping into the water due to fracking, with the dramatic video attracting more than two millions views.

Methane gas on fire along Condamine River in Queensland. Pic/AFP
Methane gas on fire along Condamine River in Queensland. Pic/AFP

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham used a kitchen lighter to ignite bubbles of methane in the Condamine River in Queensland.
The video shows him jumping back in surprise, using an expletive as flames shoot up around the dinghy. “Unbelievable. A river on fire. Don’t let it burn the boat,” Buckingham, from New South Wales, said in the footage posted on Facebook on Friday evening, which has gone viral.

“Unbelievable, the most incredible thing I’ve seen. A tragedy in the Murray-Darling Basin (river system),” he said, blaming it on nearby coal-seam gas mining, or fracking.

Australia is a major gas exporter, but the controversial fracking industry has faced a public backlash over fears about environmental impact.

Farmers and other landowners are concerned that fracking, an extraction method under which high-pressure water and chemicals are used to split rockbeds, could contaminategroundwater sources.

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