Stop Kingsnorth: no to new coal power

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24 March 2008

Cabinet split on Kingsnorth: Hutton v Benn

It seems that the many thousands of people who are opposed to the new generation of coal power stations, and who are shocked at John Hutton's veiled support for dirty coal are not alone. Support for Kingsnorth is waning within the government as well:

Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) is being urged to oppose the scheme by officials unless there are guarantees it would be able to exploit new "carbon capture and storage" (CCS) technology, according to a report in the Independent today.

As we've already seen (thanks to Greenpeace), CCS has been dumped by Hutton. Following a series of emails between power company E.ON and the government, CCS was dropped as a requirement - Hutton's department reversed the government's climate and energy policy in six minutes and four words.

John Sauven, the executive director of Greenpeace, said:

"Gordon Brown needs to get a grip on his cabinet. What we're seeing is ministers jostling for position. If Brown gives the go-ahead for a new fleet of coal-fired power stations, with CCS technology still unproven, it's hard to see how the UK will meet its legal requirement to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050."
In the meantime, for those who are not in the cabinet, you can put pressure on Hutton to call a public inquiry into the coal power scheme here.

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