Press Release from National Union of Mineworkers:
The devastating decision announced yesterday that Hatfield Colliery is to cease production with immediate effect is a direct result of the Government’s actions to double the Carbon Floor Price (Carbon Tax) from 1 April 2015. This calculated decision resulted in the Coal Generators stockpiling coal prior to the increase with the inevitable result that there is no market for coal produced by Hatfield Colliery.
The NUM has campaigned for investment in Carbon Capture and Storage as a means to de-carbonise electricity generated from coal ensuring a market for British mined coal and safeguarding coal mining jobs in the UK. This technology will now inevitably be developed for gas power stations if the UK is to meet its 2050 carbon reduction target of 80%.
The NUM is for a balanced energy policy the Government is not. The levels of subsidy to other forms of energy grossly distort the market. Compare the level of subsidy with Wind not to mention Nuclear. The cost to the British Tax Payer is £billions. The next question is who stands to gain from such a deliberately distorted market?
The Deep Mined Coal industry in the UK has been under a sustained and relentless attack for years, if given a level playing field the industry would have been able to continue to provide meaningful quality jobs and play its part in a balanced energy policy to ensure a secure and affordable supply of electricity in the future.
The NUM has continually voiced concern that a short term view of energy will result in the Government being responsible for failing to ensure that the UK has a secure and affordable supply of energy.
Coal will need to be burned for many years to come and the question is once we lose the ability to mine our own coal what price will be paid and by who?
The first people to pay the price are the hard working miners’ at Britain’s coal mines the fact that a skilled and diligent workforce are discarded so easily clearly demonstrates the contempt in which the Government has for the coal industry.
The NUM will continue to do it’s best to represent members at Hatfield as it always has and will continue to press for a balanced energy policy that includes coal produced in Britain.