The BBC have sent a letter back in response to our complaint about the West Cumbria Mine coverage on 27th Dec Radio 4’s PM.
Dear Ms Birkby
Thanks for contacting us about the PM item on Woodhouse Colliery from December 27.
We raised your concerns with the programme team. They explained that the piece looked mainly at the socio-economic impact of the mining community, as it could be the first new coal mine in the UK for 30 years.
However, it also tackled some well-known environmental concerns about the coal industry. We challenged Caroline Leatherdale, the firm’s Environmental Advisor: “We are talking about burning large amounts of fossil fuels and there will be those that will be against this. We all know what the issues are with reaching CO2 targets.”
She offered the position that the mine wasn’t producing “thermal coal” as its product. Instead, the coking coal’s limited use in steel production would in turn benefit the environment through wind turbine production, public transport infrastructure. Again, she was challenged – “It’s still CO2 emissions, isn’t it?”. Listeners then heard further details of the firm’s attempts to offset its carbon output. As such, we feel the item considered criticisms of the colliery and the environmental factors at play.
We’ve also included other reports about environmental matters on PM, but realise you felt this angle should have been reflected in more depth here. That’s not compulsory on each and every report, but we welcome feedback when it’s felt something has been overlooked.
Your reaction was shared with the Editor and senior News staff at BBC Radio 4.
BBC Complaints Team
Sheesh! What a load of old BBC Jackanory.
The mine would emit 175 Million tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime
Every tonne of steel proposed to be made with this coking coal would create almost two tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The mine would also produce mega amounts of ‘thermal’ coal – this was not questioned at all by the BBC, neither was the fact that most of the coal would be for export.
The BBC interviewer swallowed the children’s story that the steel would be for all things nice and green like wind turbines – not nasty Trident submarines or nuclear installations which need mega amounts of steel.
No mention of the high level omission that this mine would be 8km from Sellafield
No apology for the deliberate bias in not interviewing those opposed to the mine – there are plenty of miners local to the area who are against it as this video shows
What pathetic journalism from the BBC! Or maybe it is targeted deliberately biased journalism to promote this mine as a ‘good thing’ (you may well ask, why?) Green minded folk who heard this programme have told me they felt reassured ….until the big fat lies were pointed out to them. The BBC’s percieved gravitas has taken us to war before now. Whats a coal mine between friends?