Demand and jobs ‘outweighs’ global warming concerns, Lib Dem committee chair says
A new £165m coal mine has been unanimously approved by councillors in Cumbria, sparking protests by environmental campaigners.
Cumbria County Council said it was putting jobs above climate change concerns after its development committee approved the plan on Tuesday afternoon.
West Cumbria Mining, which filed the application, wants to extract coking coal along the coastline between Whitehaven and St Bees in Copeland and process the fossil fuel at a plant nearby.
Last week, Copeland’s Conservative MP Trudy Harrison “wholeheartedly” endorsed the proposed undersea mine, touting new jobs and the “huge” investment it would bring to the area.
International trade secretary Liam Fox has also given his backing to the project.
But critics accused the council of ignoring the current climate crisis, which is increasingly causing extreme and dangerous weather events across the globe. […]
Geoff Cook, Liberal Democrat councillor and chair of Cumbria County Council’s development committee, said: “It wasn’t an easy decision. All of us would prefer to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and we recognise that during construction there will be disruption to many local residents.
“However we felt that the need for coking coal, the number of jobs on offer and the chance to remove contamination outweighed concerns about climate change and local amenity.”