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Revolt Newsletter 73

07/02/2001

1. The Climate Change Levy (CCL) is to be implemented from 1 April 2001. It will not affect domestic electricity directly, but will put 0.43 P per unit on the price of electricity to industry, commerce, agriculture and services. There are exemptions, eg for good quality CHP. The levy is to be fiscally neutral; income is ploughed back into energy saving and National Insurance allowances. By and large, the levy will favour better generation patterns, and therefore reduce the need for transmission.

2. The average household is responsible for 6 tonnes of CO2 emission per year, six times as much as the rubbish thrown out in the bins! So says Eoin Lees, Chief Exec of the Energy Savings Trust [DETR, Energy & Environmental Management,Jan/Feb 2001]. A quarter of all CO2 emissions come from the home. The government has targeted a 20% reduction by 2010. See http://www.saveenergy.co.uk . Such reductions will reduce the need for electricity transmission.

3. Raskelf village group is active in resisting the pylons - look at http://www.w4u.co.uk/raskelf/ and click on 'latest' to see photo of Balfour Beatty's "handiwork". Also try http://www.near2u.net and click on 'Yorkshire' and on 'activities near2u'.

4. In Energy Minister Helen Liddell's letter 24 Jan to Anne McIntosh, she acknowledges the consideration of increasing small scale local generation and avoidance of bulk long-distance transmission. She refers to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution report "Energy - the Changing Climate" (Cm4749, June 2000), to which the government is to produce a response. It is worth quoting from paragraph 10.37.

5. (from 10.37 of Cm4749): "At present the Energy Minister gives consent for new generating plants with a capacity of 50MW or more and separate approval for new overhead transmission lines. This seems undesirable for two reasons. First, it means proposals for generating plants can be examined and approved in advance of any consideration being given to the nfrastructure needed to link them to the transmission system. Second, it represents an undesirable exemption from the normal land use planning system. We recommend that all proposals for new generating plants and overhead transmission lines should in future be considered under land use planning legislation, and that planning applications for generating plants should be required to cover all the transmission lines and other infrastructures that will be needed for their operation. In cases where the transmission lines would cross the areas of several local planning authorities, it would be appropriate for the Environment Minister to call in the case and take the decision on it."

6. The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow! Revolt has been saying the above for almost ten years. At last we have a good ally in the Royal Commission, with government to respond. Too late to prevent consent for the Yorkshire line, but not to late to prevent building it. New human rights legislation also has a strong bearing, following the ruling last year that John Prescott was not entitled to decide planning appeals, as he was "judge in his own cause" (Times 14.12.00, and Revolt news65.4). My letter to the Times (published 21.12.00) noted how much more the Sec of State for Trade & Industry would be so, when deciding powerline consents which carry "deemed planning permission".

- Mike O'Carroll

 

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