Excellent article in the Ecologist by Sam Moisha…
An Extract Below. Full Article can be read here
A new deep coal mine deep under the sea? Next to Sellafield? Really?
The potential for earth tremors and quakes resulting from mining is well known. The potential for man-made tremors at the Sellafield site is too awful to contemplate.
The first deep coal mine in Britain for 30 years is being proposed in a planning application due to be heard in Kendal on 7 March 2018. Woodhouse Colliery is proposed for Whitehaven, which is a former mining community with a lot of identity and even nostalgia caught up in the industry. It is also an area with a desperate shortage of jobs.
Mark Kirkbride and West Cumbria Mining [WCM] have applied for consent to build a ‘state of the art’ mine extending under the Irish Sea to extract coking coal for export to the steel industry. The coal would be taken by train to Redcar for shipping.
Disused anhydrite mine drift tunnels would be reopened to access the coal and the surface buildings would be on a disused ex industrial site known as the Chemical Factory. The old Marchon Chemical works produced products from Anhydrite. These included detergents and sulphuric acid.
WCM put the output of coal at 3.2 million tonnes per annum. The coal is planned mostly for export to the steel making industry in Europe where the resulting carbon emissions will run directly counter to the Paris agreement on climate change.
The digging up and burning of such quantities of fossil fuel is clearly completely out of kilter with both UK and international policy.
Cumbria has seen it’s share of extreme climate events in recent years, in particular the severe flooding of Storm Desmond. Allowing Woodhouse Colliery to go ahead would be ensuring that Cumbrian coal plays a part in increased floods, droughts, mudslides, crop failures, famine and wildfires at an international level.
The claim by WCM that they are reducing emissions by transporting the coal by train instead of road is so irrelevant as to be laughable.
WCM has widely publicised that the mine would bring 518 new jobs to Cumbria including 50 apprenticeships. Local people have been invited to ‘pre-register’ for employment prospects. It is completely understandable that some local residents support the proposed mine. Though indeed, many do not. Jobs are in very short supply in West Cumbria.
There is in Whitehaven a statue of coal miners. The inscription at the miners’ feet says “End of an Era”. In 2018 with an urgent need to cut carbon, with the UK as signatory to the Paris Agreement and bound by the national framework of the Climate Change Act committing to an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050 – this plan must be a total non-starter.
It seems a cruel and ironic hoax on the people of West Cumbria who have been ruthlessly sold the nuclear golden goose to hold out this carrot of a return to coal mining.
And it gets worse…the undersea mine would be in an area of heavily faulted geology within 5 miles of Sellafield. Sellafield is the most dangerous place in Europe, storing radioactive spent fuel rods in crumbling pools of water.
More of the Article can be read here