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Revolt Newsletter 107

16/12/2001


Revolt News 107

Text version including appendix

1. More on the Enron debacle (news106.5). Angela Kelly of the anti- windfarms group Country Guardian sends an article from New York Times  on how Enron's excessive use of pension funds for investing in its own company has devastated the savings of many employees. In the mean time, Kenneth L Lay, reported close friend of George W Bush, has made 200 million dollars from cashing in company options at high prices.

2. Further to our note of NGC construction work (news106.3), we now expect some steelwork to start in December at the Tholthorpe site, perhaps two or three pylons, depending on progress with foundations. More will be done in January-February, but the main construction work is to proceed on a larger scale in the spring.

3. Windfarm speculation continues to gain pace. Energy Minister Brian Wilson (a Scot) is clearly very keen on making his mark, eagerly promoting the AMEC plans for a 700 million pound investment in a 250-turbine farm on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides, together with an undersea cable down the west coast to England (Ceefax 13.12.01). That would diminish the case for the Yorkshire line, since the cable would increase the whole-grid security. But Brian Wilson is overlooking other fundamental problems, with intermittent wind supply and grid stability.

4. Perhaps Brian Wilson will follow (with AMEC) in the footsteps of John Wakeham, the Energy Minister who consented TPL then had a seat on the Enron Board. However, Brian beware! The New York Police Dept is suing Wakeham over the 20 billion pound collapse of Enron (Sunday Times 9.12.01). The NYPD claim the Enron directors "entered into a common plan and scheme to defraud the investing public". A business article in the same paper (page 3.10) warns of over-capacity in UK generation and an impending shake-out. It's a dirty business, don't we know it!

5. Grantor Robert Campbell features in a centre spread in the Winter 2001 Gridline, NGC's magazine. He has the southern sealing-end compound on his land together with 4 old pylons which will be replaced by 6 new ones on the Lackenby-Picton line. The article is about LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming, see www.leafuk.org) of which he is chairman. It is a wide-ranging body (1500 farmer members) promoting Integrated Farm management (IFM).

6. 54 members attended Revolt's AGM on 23.11.01, postponed because of foot and mouth disease. Rt Hon William Hague MP, Anne McIntosh MP, Diana Wallis MEP and David Bowe MEP sent messages of support. The committee were re-elected, apart from Joan Brunton who had resigned for personal and health reasons while pledging her continuing support. Thanks for her services were recorded. The Chairman's and Treasurer's reports were received and Sue Vicary was re-appointed as auditor. The continuing material support of Hambleton DC for another year (to 31.12.02) was noted with grateful appreciation. Special guests Peter Edmonds (NFU) and Superintendent David Short (North Yorkshire Police) spoke informatively and responded to questions in the Open Forum. The issues of "need" (for more pylons), health risks, and access over private land were discussed. It was suggested landowners seek indemnity from NGC against health risks as a condition on agreeing access over their land. It was expected that the legal rights of access, and their limitations, would be tested at court, and NGC would need to seek a court order to proceed in some cases. The future role of Revolt was confirmed as set out in the Chairman's Report: to continue to argue the case, to advise and support protesters, and to blow the whistle on NGC infringements.

 New York Times Article:
  http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/22/business/22RETI.html 

Text version 

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