We need Kingsnorth - but we need nuclear power more

Gordon Brown should ignore Greenpeace's objections to plans for a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth, says Garry White. It's vital that we ensure our future energy independence.

The environ-mental lobby were up in arms at Medway council's approval of plans for a new coal-fired plant at Kingsnorth power station. Indeed, support from the councillers was strong, with just three of the 16 members objecting to the application from German energy giant E.On.

Greenpeace et al want Gordon brown to veto the proposals, they are making a direct challenge to him to prove his "green credentials". However, yet again Greenpeace is pursuing blind dogma and they are going to put this country on the road to economic ruin if we let them.

If Greenpeace had their way, Britain would become a second-rate and second-class nation. Of course some may argue that this is the case now, but the situation would be much, much worse if the unthinking greens got their way.

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With oil in the North Sea almost running out, we need to have a strategy in place to become self-sufficient in terms of our energy needs. If we don't, we will ultimately have to go cap in hand to the Russians for their gas and oil and they will wring our economy dry.

They are slowly increasing the price they charge for these commodities and this trend is set to continue. Gas giant Gazprom charges European clients more than $250 per 1,000 cubic metres and the price is expected to rise to $350 next year. For Ukraine the price will be raised to $179.5 from $130 and for Belarus to $160 from $100. This uptrend in pricing will continue for years.

If we don't go nuclear, when the North Sea oil runs out this country will have a massive trade deficit with Moscow. It could see the UK having to get into significant debt to buy energy off the Russians, who will be laughing all the way to the bank.

You only have to consider the murder of Alexander Litvinenko and the current shenanigans with regard to the British Council offices in Russia to see why we don't want to be beholden to this nation of mafia members and military coup planners. It's almost as bad as being beholden to the Saudis.

The government has to keep the Saudis on side because we need them on side. That's why the British government failed to investigate allegations that BAE paid Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia more than £1bn in bribes in connection with arms deals. We need their oil and we need their trade. This means they can get away with almost anything.

The Russians will be equally as slippery (if not more) if we are beholden to them for our energy strategy.

The fact is we don't really have any viable alternative to secure our energy future other than coal and nuclear. It is unthinkable to give up fossil fuels until our nuclear strategy is in place and Greenpeace are using every method at their disposal to block this. This will leave us without the self sustainability that we need to be a successful country in a rapidly changing world.

Energy poverty in the future will lead to real poverty in those nations that haven't got it right. If Greenpeace gets its way, the next generation of Britons will be much, much poorer than the current generation. Indeed, if it does, I think I will have to move to France, a country that is independent of Middle East oil and Russian gas. Although France is nice, I would rather not

I'd also bet my pension that America, China and India will ignore such lunacy and do what they need to keep their economies afloat. Are we Brits so moronic that we will let the environ-mentals scuttle our future?

Show some backbone Gordon

So, Mr Brown, don't sell us down the green river; show us your backbone. You must back the new plant at Kingsnorth as well as all the other plants that are in the pipeline. RWE wants to replace its coal-fired station at Tilbury in Essex by 2013. It also wants to developing a plant at Blyth in Northumberland. Scottish & Southern Energy is conducting a feasibility study into replacing one of two units at its Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire and ScottishPower is proposing developing clean coal plants at Longannet in Fife and Cockenzie in East Lothian.

You should approve these stations and then fight to get our nuclear strategy back on track after Greenpeace scuppered the plans in court. And, if the environ-mentals really want to cut emissions from burning coal, then they should get the world's best brains together and find a solution to the Chinese coal fire problem instead of protesting at vital strategic plants.

Up to 3% of total world CO2 emissions come from the ravaging underground fires burning in Northern China. They need to be stopped. This will do more to help prevent global warming that stopping the commission of Kingsnorth.

Under the right conditions, coal ignites spontaneously, and fires burn downwards, acquiring oxygen through fissures in the rock. There are fires in Northern China that have been burning for decades, spewing out a shocking amount of emissions in the process.

Instead of spending cash trying to make the people of Britain poorer, Greenpeace could spend cash trying to find a modern-day Red Adair to sort out this coal-fire issue once and for all. But that's not as fun as scaling a power station and waving a flag is it, so it will just have to wait

This article is taken from Garry White's free daily email Garry Writes'. For more information please click here