Sunday, 1 September 2013

Naughty boy receives coal (at our expense) | openDemocracy

The government is giving away the rights to up to a billion tonnes of coal to a company owned by an ex-Conservative party fundraiser. Rather than filling his pockets, couldn't this revenue source be used for the public good?
Flickr/oatsy40. Some rights reserved.
The coalition government is providing a former Conservative Party fundraiser’s new company with licences which secure his company the rights and interests to billions of tons of the nation’s coal for UCG processing. UCG stands for underground coal gasification – a process to drill wells to set fire to coal underground and extract the gas by-products – both onshore and offshore. 
Official reports in 2009, 2011 and 2012 on UCG pilot studies in India, America and Australia resulted in major water contamination with highly toxic carcinogenic chemicals, Benzene and Toluene, (contamination which one private company covered up for 2 months) and the EU trial ending in disaster when they could not control the technology resulting in an explosion and the trial being abandoned. Just a few weeks ago an independent scientific panel in Queensland advised the state government against the development of a UCG industry until the firms involved can demonstrate the ability to put out the underground coal fires the process creates.

Algy Cluff, the founder of one of the companies recently handed multiple UCG licenses for both onshore and offshore by the Department of Energy & Climate Change, actually stated last week the technology is not proven offshore . Yet, he is about to embark on a UCG offshore test in Scotland. And when we say offshore, this does not mean the North Sea – the test is to be carried out in the Firth of Forth.
UCG licenses are also being issued for the Thames Estuary, Swansea Bay, the Dee Estuary and the Humber Estuary – as well as the North and Irish seas - when the technology still poses risks of major contamination with UCG carcinogenic chemicals as well as explosions and subsidence.
Onshore licences have also been made available for Warwickshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Cumbria and Lincolnshire with Algy Cluff claiming the technology was "proven onshore” – despite the Queensland decision.
The people of Warwickshire and Fife are up in arms as they have only just found out about Algy Cluff’s plans to burn billions of tonnes of coal underground in their area to extract gas. So who exactly is Algy Cluff and what experience does he have in UCG?
Algy Cluff made a fortune in North Sea oil in the 1970s and has been....

Continue reading Mel Kelly's article here, a brilliant read!

Naughty boy receives coal (at our expense) | openDemocracy

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