New Coal Mine Would be a Myriad of Threats – Letter in the Westmorland Gazette


Oppose the coal mine plan – letter in the Westmorland Gazette

The new coal mine proposed under the Irish Sea is ‘not a threat’? (Letters July 5) True, it is not just one threat! Like a many headed hydra it promises a myriad of threats to wildlife, health, climate and the safe stewardship of Sellafield.

Despite this myriad of threats. Kent Brooks’ letter of support for the mine is evidence that the PR for this plan has been astonishingly successful.

So what is the threat to wildlife?  RSPB and others have pointed out that the development has the potential to have an adverse effect upon the St Bees Head Site of Special Scientific Interest. through disturbance to breeding birds during excavations and coal processing.

The impacts from this vast mine on Cumbria’s troubled water resources and hydrology are also of great concern to human welfare, as well as that of wildlife.

What about the climate impacts that Kent Brooks believes are non existent?  At a production rate of 2.8Mt/year the produced coal would generate 1.24Mt/year CO2.

Some of the CO2 would be produced in Cumbria and some at the locations of steelmaking where the coal is to be exported. Given that all countries are equally bound by the Paris Agreement and equally committed to reducing fossil fuel use – it is highly unlikely that steel manufacturers will be seeking to import Cumbrian coal.  There is rapid innovation in steel-making processes to eliminate the fossil fuel component.

Kent Brooks says he does not understand why nuclear safety campaigners are so concerned about this plan.

This is why we are concerned –

at just 8km away from Sellafield (even nearer to Moorside) according to West Cumbria Mining, this development is ridiculously near to more than 140 tons of plutonium.

Increased tremors and quakes resulting from mining are well documented. Also well documented is the fact that there are large holding tanks at Sellafield containing thousands of litres of extremely radiotoxic fission products.

As well as nuclear wastes on teh Sellafield site there are radioactive wastes on the Irish Sea bed from ongoing and historic discharges.

Don’t take my word for it. All these threats can be read about on the submissions to Cumbria County Council on their website under planning application reference 4/17/9007.

Please do write to CCC before mid August and make your voice heard in opposition to this new coal mine plan which threatens Cumbria in a myriad of ways.

Marianne Birkby

On behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

NOTE: The planning meeting has been deferred again until the Autumn – so more time to get your objections in!  You can write to the Senior Democratic Services Officer quoting planning application reference 4/17/9007 West Cumbria Mining



Letters in the Westmorland Gazette – For and Against the first deep coal mine in the UK for 30 years

Th Guardian

From this month’s Guardian (whose lack of critical coverage of the first deep coal mine in the UK for 30 years is viewed with growing alarm)

A couple of weeks ago there was a letter in the Westmorland Gazette (based in Kendal) from Kent Brooks.  The letter was critical of opposition to the coal mine plan and advocating nostalgic support for the first deep coal mine in the UK for 30 years.  The same week a Kent Brooks from Kendal also had a letter in the Sunday Times advocating strong opposition to “the most environmentally damaging of energy sources”  coal mining while plugging the “need” for new nuclear.  Quite a feat that, having two opposing views printed in the press in the same week!

Following Kent Brooks letter there have been other letters of support for the coal mine in the Westmorland Gazette but these have been overwhelmed by letters of opposition!

Kent Brooks in the Sunday Times two weeks ago speaking of Angela Merkel“After the disaster at Fukushima she closed down the German nuclear power stations, to the delight of the Greens, although these installations were not threatened by earthquakes and tsunamis.  To plug the gap there has been a massive upsurge in the burning of coal, the most environmentally damaging of energy sources:  a blunder that has worldwide consequences.”

Kent Brooks, Kendal, Cumbria.

Kent Brooks Letter to the Westmorland Gazette “A Long History of Mining” (1st March 2018)  “this mine is part of a proud tradition”

Kent Brooks March 1st 2018

In Support of the view that there should be a nostalgic return to coal mining in Cumbria :

“I fully support the views of Kent Brooks…he is quite right when he says it is an indigenous industry and would be of great benefit to the area”  R Quirk

In Opposition :

“In coking coals heyday … Sellafield was a farming hamlet. Now it is a sprawling nuclear site reprocessing spent nuclear fuel….As well as subsidence risk  on the Irish Sea bed it is well documented that extraction of fossil fuels causes earthquakes.”   Marianne Birkby (Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole – edited out)

“Anyone who has children and wants them to grow up in a safe world should be demanding that the plan for new deep coal mining in western Cumbria must not be allowed to go ahead”  Andy Mason

“Coal mining is a backward step and one of the technologies that threatens the viability of our planet. Far better, and more responsible for Cumbria, would be to move with the times..”  Dr Ruth Balogh West Cumbria and North Lakes Friends of the Earth.

Westmorland Gazette Letters March 15th 2018