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Revolt Newsletter 70

27/01/2001

1. Ken Proudley called back to set us straight. It is just Northern Electric on his land. They will be diverting the local line to his wishes, working for about two weeks. He has no complaint against Northern Electric. He has set out how he wants their line diverting and they are complying. Remember some landowners had trouble when NGC wouldn't pay to underground Northern Electric lines except on the cheap and coming up in the middle of a field. Landowners may need to insist to get it right.

2. Ken also reports that he is not agreeing to NGC work on his land as there are still unresolved matters. He will keep Revolt informed of developments.

3. Further to news66, on replies to questions raised by Anne McIntosh MP on our behalf, further replies have been received to my follow up comments. Helen Liddell has made some more sensible replies just prior to her departure, following PQ 1999/3365. Her letter of 24 January recognises that the UKCCS study does not have enough data to draw any satisfactory conclusions above 0.4 microTesla. This is the level where an association was confirmed by Ahlbom et al in last year's major international pooled study. She does make a little quibble over the term "association" which I will deal with, but by and large it is a more enlightened letter, so let's hope the civil servants may be catching on.

4. In response to the remote generation problem, Helen Liddell mentions that the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution touches on this, and included a recommendation on electricity networks in its report "Energy - the Changing Climate" last year. The government has yet to make its response, but she says "it would be wrong to conclude that this matter necessarly has implications for the proposed Lackenby to Shipton overhead line which has already received development permission and for which there is no scope for now either having a further public inquiry or revoking the consents granted". In other words, we may be right but it is too late. However it is not too late for NGC to cancel the project itself, even though the consent cannot be revoked.

5. John Prescott also responds (16 Jan) positively to my follow-up letter. He refers to pro-CHP policies and says they "should increase energy efficiency ... as well as helping to reduce transmission losses directly". More signs the civil servants are catching on. I have suggested asking if he is aware that the effect of the NGC line will be to promote the mislocation of some 2GW of further surplus generation in the north with the unnecessary waste of energy to the tune of 500 million pounds per year (wholesale price), along with the damaging effect on climate change and on the environment, all paid for by the consumer to the detriment of the national economy, while NGC gains a free asset from a distorted artificial market. When will the civil servants catch on to that?

-- Mike O'Carroll

 

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