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Better to get fossil fuels ‘from our own green and pleasant land’ says Jacob Rees-Mogg after Welsh coal mine expansion

27 Jan 2022 3 minutes Read
Jacob Rees-Mogg. Picture by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended the expansion of a colliery in Wales, saying that it is better to mine coal “from our own green and pleasant land” than bring it in from abroad.

Yesterday the Aberpergwm colliery was given permission to mine a further 40 million tonnes of coal.

The Welsh Government had accused the UK Government of ignoring its wishes on the permit for the mine. Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters has previously said that they were opposed to the UK Government on the matter.

The UK government, which oversees the Coal Authority which is responsible for licensing mines, decided however not to intervene.

Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg was challenged on the issue in the House of Commons today by Green Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas. But he replied that he supported the extraction of the coal.

“Net zero is by 2050. We are not at 2050 yet,” he said. “We are going to need to have fossil fuels for the interim period and we are going to need coal for things like heritage railways and so on.

“Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable that we take some coal out of the ground. I cannot see why it is better to import it from abroad, rather than to get it from our own green and pleasant land.”

‘Do not support’

Caroline Lucas had earlier said that the UK Government appeared to have “abdicated responsibility for the decision”.

“Real climate leaders do not issue new fossil fuel licences, nor do they pass the buck if someone else is trying to do that on their watch,” she said.

She called for any correspondence with the UK Government on the matter to be published, and for a debate in Government time “on the importance of leaving new fossil fuels in the ground, as the science demands”.

Speaking to the Senedd in November, Deputy Climate Minister Lee Waters said that the Welsh Government did not have the powers to stop the colliery’s expansion.

“We want to keep this coal in the ground, but the UK Government, because of the powers in place, threaten to sit by and watch this coal being extracted in the face of our wishes.”

The Welsh government said: “We have been clear that we do not support the extraction of fossil fuels and are focused on the climate emergency.

“As the original licence was issued before powers in relation to coal licences were devolved, Welsh ministers are not able to intervene in the licensing process and appropriately apply Welsh policy.”

Energybuild, the company that will extract the coal, said it provided 160 well-paid jobs in the area, plus 16 apprenticeships.


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Mr Williams
Mr Williams
5 months ago

I wonder if Jacob Rees Mogg will allow his ground to be dug up and covered with waste heaps then?

Last edited 5 months ago by Mr Williams
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

… and what was all that talk at Cop26 about reducing CO2 emissions? I guess more Tory lies.

Y glowr
Y glowr
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

My great uncle used to go to Aber every year to bait Plaid during their conference. He was a miner and hated their policy of wanting to keep the mines open. He called them crachach.

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago
Reply to  Y glowr

The ladies of our branch of Plaid in 1984 ran what today would be called a soup kitchen. Your great uncle would have been better employed “baiting” the likes of Kinnock.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago
Reply to  Y glowr

No offence, but your great uncle was part of the problem not Plaid Cymru. Personally, I’d be embarrassed referring to his antics seeing the dire poverty & depravation those mining communities were left in by Westminster. The fact is. Your great uncle actions aided the Tories agenda of destroying Wales mining industry when it was still viable. And no doubt he championed traitor & self-servative Neil Kinnock’s Anti-devolution agenda meaning Wales voted no to an Assembly leaving us at the mercy of 18 painful years of of Thatcherism. And I bet he had no plan what to replace those jobs… Read more »

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
5 months ago

Hmmm, someone tell Moggy that’s not the way Thatcher saw it.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
5 months ago

When are people going to realise – this UK Tory government cares little for the environment, devolution or social responsibilty. All it cares about is making money and keeping big business (ie Tory party donors) happy. If Wales is to become, once again, one big coal tip as a result – so be it. We know what we have to do as a nation – let’s get on and do it !

Kurt C
Kurt C
5 months ago

Poison Cymru again, for English gain. We don’t need the energy in Cymru, we export way to much already.

Thomas Picton
Thomas Picton
5 months ago
Reply to  Kurt C

The coal is used for Welsh gain, not English. Welsh steel and 7,000 Welsh jobs rely on coal.

Gareth Rees
Gareth Rees
5 months ago

Doesn’t say much for the geography teaching at Eton. Aberpergwm is in another country, some 50 miles away from the particular ‘green and pleasant land’ J R-M is referring to.

Marc
Marc
5 months ago

“we are going to need coal for things like heritage railways and so on”. Don’t forget coal tar soap It’s very popular with the peasant classes

Draig
Draig
5 months ago

Is it better to extract coal locally or import coal from Australia for places like the steelworks at Port Talbot?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-51407137

Rob
Rob
5 months ago

This isn’t your ‘green and pleasant land’ this is Cymru

Dail y Goeden
Dail y Goeden
5 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Exactly – William Blake’s magic words are about “building Jerusalem” [contemporary translation: “ensuring a safe and sustainable future”?] … “in _England’s _ green and pleasant land.” JR-M’s remarks suggest that the distinction, between Wales and England, isn’t one that he’s actively aware of – or he wouldn’t have called up the phrase as his telling debating-point.

Andyos
Andyos
3 months ago
Reply to  Dail y Goeden

I disagree. I believe Jacob Rees-Mogg knew exactly what he was saying and exactly what buttons he was pressing when he used the phrase ‘green and pleasant land’! The full phrase is, of course, ‘England’s green and pleasant land’. His aim was I see it, was a deliberate and nasty, poke in the eye for all the Welsh. Roughly translated it says, ‘ there is no Wales, there is no Britain, no Devolution, there is only England. And we (England) will do what we want to in Wales. You can’t do anything about it and we don’t care what you… Read more »

Grayham Jones
5 months ago

Just kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Dim problem
Dim problem
5 months ago

Keep it in the ground.

Daf
Daf
5 months ago

A Tory grandee supporting the expansion of a coal mine in Wales?
Thatcher will be spinning in her grave.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

Coal for narrow gauge railways…good question? I’m sure all the Great Little Trains of Wales would like an answer to it…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

Only Rees-Smugg would make such an ignorant comment seeing it was his party who destroyed the Welsh mining industry putting thousands on the scrapheap whilst quoting a line from a William Blake’s poem Jerusalem that’s an ode to England. What a Conservative clot he is!

Julia Francis
Julia Francis
5 months ago

Somerset had plenty of mines when they were closed the miners moved to Cymru pen them back up let him have the mines in his own back garden

Malcolmrj
Malcolmrj
5 months ago

Would Rees Bog fancy a few shifts on the coal face or would he have liked to be called the enemy within after working underground for most of his life like MAGY Thatcher called him my FATHER worked in the coal pits from the age of 14 he got beried from roof falls Three times he also suffered from coal dust in his lungs from the age of 25..his brother like him whent underground at 14yrs old on his first day the miner that he was put to work with was killed by a rock fall. How could that wiked… Read more »

Thomas Picton
Thomas Picton
5 months ago

Do all those of you not wanting to mine coal in Wales want Tata Steel to close? Bear in mind it is the second biggest private sector employer in Wales and can only operate with coal. There is no alternative to coal for steel making. Wales needs steel, and Wales needs jobs. Restrict Welsh coal mining and the impact is either more imports from further afield (with increased CO2 emissions from shipping), or Tata closes and lays off 7000 people. Take your pick.

Daniel
4 months ago

We have been campaigning against this coal extension since early December and are continuing to fight it – it’s not over yet. See our background piece to this: https://www.coalaction.org.uk/2021/12/17/aberpergwm-coal-extension/

And follow our Twitter for updates on new campaign actions you can get involved with: https://twitter.com/CoalActionUK

Thanks,
Coal Action Network

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