Issue 269: 2021 03 04: Whitehaven Coal Mine

04 March 2021

To: The Editors, The Shaw Sheet

Re: ‘Capital Projects’, issue 267, 21 February 2021.

Dear Sirs
Your correspondent Mr Branch is no doubt sincere in his green urgings, but as so often with these things, he has not thought through his urge to stop the (much needed) Whitehaven coal mine.  If we use steel, and to build railways, wind pylons, new power stations, and even hyperloop pods (they sound painful) we will need lots, it is best made as close to home as possible.  We could buy it from China or Russia of course, but then there are lots of CO2 emissions just to transport it to here – and somehow I doubt that steel is going to be made using the highest levels of sustainable and environmentally sensitive processes, and it will still involving digging up loads of coal.
If however we dig our own coal and feed it into the furnaces near Whitehaven it will be CO2-lite steel that comes out of the other end and it could go a few miles up the coast to Workington to make into rails and girders and hyperloop pods.  And even create jobs in one of the most economically damaged areas of Britain.
A true environmentalist would be campaigning for the Cumbrian mine – and the Northumberland one recently refused permission, whose output we are also going to have to source from somewhere many CO2 emitting miles away.
Yours faithfully
Peter Wilson
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