photo credit Climate Action
Fantastic news! Ireland is on course to become the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuel assets. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill brought by Irish Parliamentarian Thomas Pringle is set to become law by the end of the year.
I have sent a letter to the Irish Government congratulating them on backing the Bill and asking them to keep the Irish Sea safe from the plan for a coal mine deep underneath the fragile and complex Irish Sea bed.
Please do send them your own letter of congratulations and request that the Irish Parliament do all they can to stop this crazy plan for a coal mine under the Irish Sea.
email the Irish Parliament at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Houses of the Oireachtas
Planning Application 4/17/9007 –
First Deep Coal Mine in 30 Years and it is under the Irish Sea!
Thank you so much for backing the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill brought by Irish Parliamentarian Thomas Pringle. For Ireland to be the world’s first country ever to divest public money from fossil fuel is truly a great achievement and something wonderful to celebrate.
It is therefore a terrible irony that in the same summer that Ireland pledges to divest from Fossil Fuel , the Irish Sea is being primed to become host to the first new deep coal mine (Woodhouse Mine) in the UK for 30 years. The plan is due to be heard by Cumbria County Council on August 23rd 2018.
There are many reasons to oppose this deep coking coal mine under the Irish Sea off St Bees on the Cumbrian Coast.
The developers, West Cumbria Mining, imply that coal used in steelmaking does not produce CO2 emissions. This is clearly not the case. WCM even claim to be reducing CO2 emissions compared to importing steel making coal from the USA. However the fact that the plan is to export most of the coal produced makes a nonsense of this claim. The energy used in running the mine itself and transport, the burning of the lower class of coal and the burning of the higher class coal in steelmaking is staggering. At a production rate of 2.8Mt/year the produced coal would generate 1.24Mt CO2. This is an Alice in Wonderland plan in many ways as there is rapid innovation in steel making processes to eliminate the fossil fuel component of steel, making coking coal redundant.
Proximity to Sellafield
At just 8km away from Sellafield (even nearer to the proposed new nuclear reactors at ‘Moorside’) this development is ridiculously near to over 140 tons of plutonium. Increased tremors and quakes resulting from mining is well documented The potential for man-made tremors at the Sellafield site is too awful to contemplate. There are~20 large holding tanks at Sellafield containing thousands of litres of extremely radiotoxic fission products.”
Sea Bed Subsidence and Resuspension of Radioactive Wastes from the Irish Sea Bed
The North Western Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority have submitted to Cumbria County Council that
“Offshore Subsidence – resuspension and dispersal of radioactive contaminants. The documentation has confirmed to NWIFCA that a risk of subsidence exists and therefore there remains an overwhelming concern over the potential for disturbance and resuspension of radioactive contaminants and sediments.”
Local campaigners Radiation Free Lakeland have recently sampled the beaches near Sellafield (Sellafield stops monitoring and retrieval of radioactive particles over the summer in order not to frighten beach users). A full one third of all random samples were found to contain cesium and americium in levels above that safe for human health. Any increase in radioactive particles being resuspended and brought back on the waves of the Irish Sea to Cumbrian and Irish shorelines is to be avoided.
I am writing to thank you on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole for divesting from fossil fuels.
It is a Big ask but I would like to ask that you protect the Irish Sea (and so much more) by opposing the Irish Sea deep coal mine on behalf of Ireland.
With many thanks
On behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole