UK coal mine dilemma pits energy crisis against green goals – by Rodney Jefferson and Jess Shankleman (Bloomberg News – August 14, 2022)

In the far northwest corner of England, coal mining was so finished that the local museum paying tribute to the industry shut a few years ago after running into financial trouble.

Yet at the dormant Haig Pit in Whitehaven, there are signs that an activity long considered dead wants to come back to life. Next to the mine shaft tower and red-brick building that housed the exhibit space is the office of West Cumbria Mining Ltd., which plans to open the UK’s first deep coal mine in more than three decades.

After years of opposition from environmental groups and political wrangling, the UK government delayed a decision on whether the mine should go ahead, following the July resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

It’s been pushed back again, with a ruling due by Nov. 8. But whatever happens, the controversial project has highlighted the broader dilemma facing the next leader over how to balance the country’s green goals with the upheaval of fuel supplies in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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