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Government investment in underground coal gasification plant will do nothing to move us towards carbon-free energy generation.

Shirley Ford, lead Green Party Euro-candidate for North East England writes:

The Government backing for ‘extreme energy’ development such as coal gasification under the sea (£1bn energy scheme, The Journal, October 23) is symptomatic of the desperation of the main parties, big business and others to keep a failing show on the road. This backing is for investors in Five Quarter’s coal gasification plant, meaning they are one step closer to being bailed out with public money if it goes pear-shaped. It comes on top of £15 million of public money given to Five Quarter a year ago in the shape of regional growth fund money for research and development.

Backing extreme technologies for extracting harder to reach fossil fuels is not a plan for the future. It only digs us deeper into the fossil fuel hole and it will be so much harder to get out again. The technologies are unproven, expensive, polluting and in the long run simply unsustainable. Now is the time to change course: radical conservation and energy efficiency programmes coupled to a switch to safe and secure renewable sources and an abandonment of the doomed pursuit of endless growth.Government investment in underground coal gasification plant will do nothing to move us towards carbon-free energy generation.

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