#AxeDrax – Climate campaigners denounce government’s approval of UK’s biggest ever gas power project

The 4th October decision by the Secretary of State for  Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to allow Drax Plc’s planning application for the UK’s largest ever gas-fired power capacity will lock the UK into dirty energy production for at least another two decades, climate campaigners have said.

Government overruled Planning Inspector’s recommendation to refuse the gas plant

The Secretary Of State overruled the Planning Inspector’s recommendation to refuse the plant, with the bizarre claim that the new gas plant didn’t contradict the “move towards net zero carbon”.

The Planning Inspector’s recommendation agreed with key objections made to Drax’s planning appliction, and with the arguments Biofuelwatch and others including ClientEarth put forward.

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4th Dec Goole Demo at Planning Inspectorate Hearing for Drax switch from coal to gas

The Planning Inspectorate is examining Drax Power Station plans to replace its two remaining coal-fired units with a much larger power station (3.6GW) burning fossil (natural) gas.  This will, if granted, allow Drax to secure its position as the UK’s biggest fossil fuel burner for decades to come!

The Planning Inspectorate held a  preliminary hearing for this in October and the next hearing will be in Goole on 4th December.

Biofuelwatch intend to hold a short and respectful banner protest outside this hearing, starting at 1.30pm as people are going in to the hearing and finishing at 2pm so they can go in and listen to the hearing too.

The Goole demo will be a good opportunity to let the Planning Inspectorate know (again) that there is widespread opposition to Drax’s proposal on the grounds of climate change. Continue reading

Former DECC secretary Chris Huhne goes from jail to bioenergy company

In a new spin on the revolving door, former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne has left jail and collected a job worth £100,000 a year with Zilkha Biomass Energy. Zilhka is a US company that ships wood pellets from America to Northern Europe.

Chris Huhne’s new job doesn’t cut much mustard with critics of the bioenergy industry.

Oliver Munnion, Campaigner for Biofuelwatch, said:

“Chris Huhne is being rewarded for his ardent support for the biomass industry during his time as Energy and Climate Change Secretary. He oversaw vast subsidies and other support mechanisms being put in place for bioenergy which have resulted in a rush for biomass that could see the UK’s demand for wood rise to 90 million tonnes a year – nine times the UK’s annual production.
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Email Green Investment Bank Chair & Cllr Battye to stop funding big biomass

Here’s the link to the BIofuelwatch webpage which has an email to send to the Chair of the UK Green Investment Bank. Please send an email – you can re word it to suit yourself, or simply send the version that Biofuelwatch has written.

You might also want to email Councillor Janet Battye, who represents Calderdale Council on the Leeds City Region (LCR) Green Economy Panel. The LCR Green Economy Panel support the Green Investment Bank’s £100m investment in big biomass at Drax. Here’s the Email I have sent Cllr Battye – please feel free to use this as a template for your own email if that helps.
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