mines under eu threat
WORKERS, JULY 2004 ISSUE
Another EU directive, supposedly intended to reduce sulphur emissions and due to be in place by 2015, now directly threatens six out of the remaining eight deep mines left working in Britain. Nine thousand miners' jobs are at risk, and the effect will be to topple the whole British coal industry into bankruptcy and closure.
Environmental improvements and controls can be achieved if coupled with the technology, which produces 'clean coal'. Clean coal technology requires industry, it requires investment, and it requires long-term commitment. Quick fit solutions to arbitrarily cut emissions are about failure to invest and doing things on the cheap.
The alternative to deep mining is opencast or imports. Anyone who has lived near an opencast mine will be aware of the dirt, dust, and scarred landscape for years. And of course it is ludicrous that Britain, this island of coal, imports more coal than ever while rushing to close its indigenous industry.
The EU directive is not about pollution but is intended to destroy the rump of British coalmining. The government and civil servants overseeing the implementation of the directive are continuing Thatcher's bloodlust against the mining industry and communities.