Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

The big gas companies -- Woodside, Santos, Origin -- and other fossil fuel giants like Chevron might have been forgiven for thinking they'd had an impressive victory on carbon capture and storage (CSS).

Even as the evidence continued to mount that it is a near-total failure, the gas companies -- aided by their millions in donations, former politicians and political staffers in their ranks and their creatures within government -- succeeded in opening the spigots of taxpayer funding for more CCS, not merely putting ordinary Australians on the hook for a failed technology but enabling massive new fossil fuel projects to be continued under the pretence that emissions will be geosequestered.

The failure of CCS is well-established, but for the mainstream media in Australia it's a fringe view of environmentalist radicals and "government critics" who can be readily dismissed. The most a lot of press gallery journalists will admit to is that CCS is "divisive", which calls to mind that Blackadder line about "opinion being divided" on whether you need a crew to sail a ship.