Saturday’s Yorkshire Post reports that Michael Gove is expected to give his approval for a new coal mine in Whitehaven shortly. The Secretary of State for Levelling Up is reported to have come under considerable pressure from some Tory MPs to give the controversial project the green light.
The paper quotes Mark Jenkinson Tory MP for Workington who believes that the mine is needed to provide coking coal to make UK steel and local production would stop imports.
However, analysis from the Green Alliance, an independent environmental think tank and charity, claims that the mine would produce the same emissions as putting 200,000 more cars on the roads.
Alex Stafford Tory MP for the Rother Valley is reported saying: “Approving the mine would undermine trust in the UK’s climate commitments and increase local pollution.”
Meanwhile polling last week found that two thirds of Britons support wind farms being built locally. Research by Redfield & Wilton Strategies (https://redfieldandwiltonstrategies.com/) found that 68% would also support a wind farm locally if it was the alternative to either a nuclear power station or fracking, while 51% backed more North Sea drilling permits.
The government faces pressure from backbenchers to scrap current planning laws which amount to an effective ban on new onshore wind farms (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/28/no-10-set-to-allow-new-onshore-wind-projects-in-england-in-u-turn).