The decision by the government of Australia’s Northern Territory government to allow the resumption of fracking for natural gas will do little to immediately solve the country’s energy woes, but will likely sharpen political battle lines. The territory’s government said on April 17 that it has lifted a near two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, accepting the recommendations of its own commission of inquiry into the practice. Northern Territory is a vast, sparsely-populated 1.4 million square kilometer (540,000 square mile) part of central and northern Australia, and home to two potentially rich basins of natural gas. The remote region is ruled by the center-left Labor Party, which is in opposition at a federal level. The Labor Party also controls state governments in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. The decision to permit fracking, subject to rigorous regulation, came as a surprise to many observers, […]