Friday, 9 October 2009

New open cast coal mine in Shropshire

On the same day E.on announced they would be putting on hold the construction of a new coal-fired power plant at Kingsnorth, news that an open cast coal mine will be created in Telford quietly slipped through the net.

Secretary of State John Denham granted UK Coal permission to extract 900,000 tonnes of coal near The Wrekin, a beauty spot in Shropshire, despite opposition from local councillors and MPs.

Telford and Wrekin Council have said they will appeal against the decision.

Much of the opposition seems to be based on aesthetical reasons - that the mine will scar the landscape - but the greater damage is this government's continued commitment to burning fossil fuels. Kingsnorth may now be all but cancelled but we still burn coal at existing power stations nationwide, accounting for about a third of energy generation in the UK. [Source]

One-third of these dirty power stations will close by 2015 in accordance with EU regulations on reducing emissions, but that still leaves a significant number pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The Kingsnorth decision is undoubtedly good news (provided it really has been cancelled), but the approval of the Telford mine is a visible indicator that our addiction to fossil fuels is far from cured.

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