People power wins as council rejects opencast coal mine

opencast coal mine

Creative Commons: 2009

In another blow for dirty energy, this week, plans for a new opencast mine in the Rhymey valley, Wales, were rejected by local councillors.

Friends of the Earth described the move as “a historic victory for people power and the climate”, and Wednesday’s announcement was met with cheers from hundreds of people who had joined a rally outside the council offices.

Craig Bennett, chief executive of Friends of the Earth said:

Caerphilly councillors have put themselves on the right side of history by voting to leave fossil fuels in the ground where they belong. The local community fought long and hard against this opencast coal mine proposal, and its legacy of pollution, devastation and disruption. We urge the applicants, Miller Argent, to respect this democratic decision, and to invest in green jobs for the future – not dirty industries of the past.

The councillors opposed the application on grounds of visual impact, with 12 voting against and two abstaining.

If it went ahead, the new mine, proposed by Miller Argent would have extracted six million tonnes of coal.

Wednesday’s decision opens the way for the company to appeal to the Welsh government and to force the financially vulnerable council to pay its costs.

This could amount to several thousands pounds.

Climate change campaigners have promised legal support to the council.

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