Response to Written Statement on UK Coal
In response to the Written Ministerial Statement today by Minister of State for Energy Michael Fallon, Member of Parliament for Normanton, Pontefract, Castleford and Knottingley Yvette Cooper said:
“This is a deeply troubling statement from the Government on UK Coal.
"We need a deal as rapidly as possible to stop Kellingley and Thoresby closing immediately.
"But UK Coal and Ministers seem to be only interested in a gradual closure, rather than trying to keep the pits open.
"That's not good enough. We want the Government, UK Coal, the NUM, other investors and the European Commission to be looking at every possible option to keep our deep mined coal industry going beyond 2015.
"Hundreds of highly skilled jobs, and many local businesses depend on Kellingley and we need to fight for every job. But this is also about having a mixed energy supply for Britain. Already 40% of our coal imports come from Russia. And we had investment planned in clean coal technology.
"Ministers should be talking to the European Commission about support which could keep the pit going. And they should provide time for other interested private investors to look at the pits too.
"I've spoken to the management and unions at Kellingley, as well as UK Coal, and the Minister. Kellingley is a good pit with strong reserves still available for development. Now is not the time for the Government to turn its back on British Coal."