Small victory against open cast in Scotland: Scottish Coal withdraw Auldton Heights plans
Scottish Coal have announced that they are no longer perusing a new 420,000 tonne open cast coal mine at Auldton Heights, just south of Lesmahagow in South Lanarkshire. The confirmation came in a letter to Douglas Community Council, where Planning Consultant Stephen Beebe stated the following: “I can confirm on behalf of Scottish Coal, that the company is not proceeding with a planning application for the Auldon Heights surface mining proposal as set out in the 2010 Forward Strategy for South Lanarkshire and forming part of the public consultation exercise we carried out last autumn. The reason for this is based on commercial viability considerations and technical issues.”
Colombian community leader confronts BHP Billiton at their London AGM
Julio Cesar Gomez, President of FECODEMIGUA, the Federation of Communities Displaced by Mining in La Guajira, recently visited Scotland to exchange stories of resisting coal extraction, and to rally support for his communities efforts to stop the expansion of the world’s largest open cast coal mine, El Cerrejón, in Colombia. Longannet Coal Fired Power Station, the 3rd largest in Europe, burns coal mined at Cerrejón, and Clydeport imports millions of tonnes of Cerrejón coal into Hunterston Port every year to be distributed throughout the UK and Europe. As Julio says, this coal is “stained with blood”. A few stops later on his UK tour, Julio confronted BHP Billiton shareholders, one of three UK-listed mining companies who own the Cerrejón mine, at ther AGM yesterday.
The CCS bubble finally bursts: Too expensive, no one wants it and it just won’t work
Under the somewhat unlikely title of “Government reaffirms commitment to CCS”, the Department of Energy and Climate Change finally had to admit in their press release that they’re stopping funding for the Longannet Carbon Capture pilot project. Reading between the lines, what is clear is that the £1 billion set aside for CCS at Longannet was no where near enough or that they didn’t even have it in the first place, that the technology for achieving CCS is far from being a reality, and that government policy both at Westminster and Hollyrood has now been shown up for the greenwash that we always said it was.
What a mess: 3 power stations, pantomime planning, a clean-coal collapse and a climate disaster
Scotland’s 3 coal-fired power stations – one online (Longannet), one ready to be decommissioned (Cockenzie) and one in the pipe-line (Hunterston) are all making headlines, for very different, and all the wrong reasons. This week campaigners lost a legal challenge against the proposed and hugely unpopular Hunterston coal-fired power station, ScottishPower announced that their flagship carbon capture project at Longannet, UK’s 2nd largest power station, is about to collapse, and the Scottish Government approved plans to swap a coal-fired power station at Cockenzie for a “clean fossil fuel” (!?) gas-fired power station, much to the dismay of local residents.
Community Consultations Ignored By Council Planners
Significant oversights have been identified in South Lanarkshire Council’s initial planning documents relating to local mineral industries. Coal Action Scotland has carried out a critical examination of the Health Impact Assessment Report commissioned by planners at South Lanarkshire Council, revealing inadequate solutions for significant issues relating to the health and well being of residents in and around existing and proposed mineral industries. The numbers of effected residents are to be further exacerbated by the many new proposals for mineral workings covered by the Local Minerals Development Plan.