(As prepared for delivery, April 11, 2016)
I believe that today we are witness to a remarkable moment in history.
U.S. companies are investing $100 billion U.S. dollars in Australia’s liquefied natural gas sector. This investment in LNG is equal, in terms of cost and importance, to what the United States put into the Apollo space program in the latter half of the twentieth century. Together, the United States and Australia put man on the moon; and together, we will make Australia the world’s leading exporter of LNG by 2020
The Gorgon Project, at $55 billion U.S. dollars is the single largest foreign investment in Australia. Future generations will look back at what Chevron and its partners have achieved on Barrow Island as transformative. Gorgon is 21st century energy – technologically innovative and environmentally responsible.
Australians and Americans have pioneered the innovative technology required to keep costs low, improve efficiency, and minimize environmental impact. Here on Barrow Island, Chevron has invested billions alongside the Australian government in the world’s largest commercial-scale carbon capture and sequestration facility. This technology will prevent up to four million tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere, minimizing Chevron’s carbon footprint. This technology will help us combat climate change and help us secure a more sustainable future.
Cleaner energy is not the only way Gorgon is helping to protect our planet. These facilities were designed and built specifically to share a natural landscape with hundreds of species of unique flora and fauna and a protected coastline. Barrow Island is currently home for up to 60,000 golden bandicoots, 10,000 spectacled hare wallabies, and 10,000 possums.
The island is an important nesting area for sea turtles. And, Chevron’s operations here have had zero impact on the turtle population. The turtles are coming ashore in the same numbers, and laying the same number of eggs, and are as healthy – as they were during the pre-construction phase. Chevron’s operations are recognized as a model for environmental stewardship, and reflect the U.S. and Australian joint commitment to conserving and protecting our natural world.
In conclusion, the Gorgon Project embodies the best of U.S.-Australia relationship. Together, the United States and Australia are moving boldly through the 21st century. What we have already achieved is monumental. I can say with confidence that the best is yet to come.