With the closure of Ferrybridge power station today and the loss of hundreds of skilled jobs across Knottingley, Ferrybridge and elsewhere,
Yvette Cooper MP said:
"This is a sad day for the workers at Ferrybridge and their families. It's also a bad day for Britain's energy policy as Ferrybridge is closing much sooner than it needs to, even though the Government hasn't got enough alternative energy generation in place.
"The Government has no proper energy strategy in place and they have ignored the campaign to stop Ferrybridge closing this spring. There was enough coal already on site at Ferrybridge to keep the station going for another year. SSE and the Government have taken the wrong decision by refusing to look at ways to extend the life of the plant rather than close it so fast. Experts are warning that there isn't enough energy capacity in place for next winter, yet the Government is rushing to close existing power stations down this year.
“We all want to see higher environmental standards. However the Government has ditched clean coal technology planned for Drax, and undermined investment in renewables so there is too little alternative energy capacity coming through to replace the coal fired power stations that Ministers are determined to close down. And there has been a big increase in planned diesel generation to fill the gap, even though diesel has even more serious environmental problems.
"We now need a fair deal for all the workers at Ferrybridge - those that are leaving now and those that are staying on to help decommission the site safely. That's the very least they deserve after showing such loyalty and commitment over the last year which the threat of closure hanging over them. I've been working with the unions to press SSE for a better deal. And we need a serious plan for new skilled jobs in our area. We've already lost Kellingley, now we are losing Ferrybridge. The Government's so called "Northern Powerhouse" looks more like a Northern Power Cut instead."