Helmsley speaks to The i newspaper about UK's Cumbrian coal dilemma

April 11, 2022


Helmsley speaks to The i newspaper about UK's Cumbrian coal dilemma

Helmsley Energy's Founder and Managing Partner, Benedict McAleenan, was interviewed by reporters from The i, a UK newspaper. You can view the full article here.

UK Communities Secretary Michael Gove must make a decision on whether to permit a new coal mine in Cumbria in the North of England. The coal mine would appear to run counter to the Government's position on climate change and coal phase-out, but local economic considerations and the Russian invasion of Ukraine creates new challenges for coal supplies.

Benedict said:

“The Government has had some shaky times over the past few months, and the fact that [Gove] has 40 or so MPs from the Conservative Party backing this project and pointing to jobs and the infrastructure investment makes it very difficult for him to say no.
“If you then add on the fact that it’s about energy security and avoiding Russian coal, then it makes it really difficult for him to say no to it."

However, there is a political flipside in addition to questions over coal's impact on the climate, said Benedict:

“If people are being asked to pay for a heat pump instead of a gas boiler, or if they are being asked to pay a little bit more on their energy bills all in the name of net zero, and then the Government says ‘go ahead, open this coal mine’, then a lot of people might have a real problem with that.”
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