Below is a Guest Blog from our intrepid Jogger……..
Hello it’s been a while since my last write up but I have been putting in the kilometres around the streets and harbour side of Whitehaven, adorned with the simple message upon my t-shirt KEEP the COAL in the HOLE.
Like yourselves, so disappointed that the government minister did not call in this coal mine.
Did you hear our own Marianne on BBC Wireless Cumbria, Mike Zellers Breakfast Show, Thursday 7th January 2021. Here is a YouTube link for you with photo compilation.
Copeland Conservative MP Trudy Harrison has something to say about the coal mine but she has some facts quite wrong. Our morals and lack of democracy were criticised by the MP. Have a listen, the interview is featured on the video link above.
Mrs Harrison says Whitehaven coal will make £1.8 Billion for the UK GDP in 1st ten years of production. The UK, a world leader on climate with a 10 point plan Green Industrial Revolution is going to make a heap of money from exporting another fossil fuel. I don’t see how a coal mine is going to make our nation cleaner, greener and more beautiful, certainly not in my back yard anyway. Link below for the Government paper Mrs Harrison mentioned.
The facts are, WCM coking coal (industrial coal) is not destined for the UK market; UK steel makers can’t use it, too much sulphur and they are phasing out their blast furnaces anyway. So Whitehaven coal will not slash (Trudy’s words) UK imports it will instead add to global coal stocks and further pollution when it is exported. Because Whitehaven coal is to be sold to an agent, WCM have no say where this coal will end up, steel makers or power stations, coal for sale.
She adds that the planning process is a democratic one, implying that my objecting makes me undemocratic. I am 100% certain that if this coal mine was placed directly in Mrs Harrison’s back yard she would have a very different opinion. I am quite happy with my choice, thank you and will continue to object to this diabolical plan as is my democratic right.
She went on about the need to buy and produce British steel using British coal to make electric cars, nuclear power stations, wind turbines, factories etc because it is “morally” wrong and economically ludicrous to import coal. I can’t see how this coal mine fully accords with the Government’s 10 point Green Industrial Revolution, maybe I am just a Dumbrian?
More pearls of wisdom from our politicians on the Channel4 news report at the beginning of last year, linked below for you.
Notably is, Mr Mike Starkie, Copeland Mayor talks about the mine being in the poorest area of the country and life opportunity jobs available; for the poorest in our community. Mrs Trudy Harrison ‘ has a common sense approach’ ??
So why has WCM gone to all this effort and investment? Where other mining companies have gone before and given up, WCM persist. WCM has almost halved the coal mines production life span, down to the next 28 years. 100s of planning conditions to plough through and they still want to build their coal mine.
It seems we may have indication as to why? WCM’s vision of a coal mine extending into radioactive waste management and a Geological Disposal Facility? Coincidentally, the time frame given to debate and find a suitable site in Copeland and build the GDF is about 20 years.
I remember looking at this model of Haig Pit on my visit to the museum years ago. If this model is anything to go by, is it really a good idea to be digging out millions of tonnes of coal through geological faults; and (potentially) the storage of radioactive waste.
Three facts for you. 1) Coal was created through seismic activity 2) Mining causes earthquakes, a proven fact. 3) the Solway region is seismically active.
The modern mining technology rapidly strips out a seam of coal, creating large voids. Creating large voids and venting gases is asking for trouble, it is bound to unbalance the geological forces off our shores. Yet Cumbria Council have been told by experts that the risks are acceptable. Does that then make Cumbria Council responsible if my worst fears materialise. Such arrogance to think our technology can control Mother Nature.
Come on Mr Jenrick – let’s have another Conservative U-turn. The planet has a carbon budget and it’s getting smaller. Change your Mind – Call in this coal mine and Keep the Coal in the Hole