UK Coalition must come clean over Longannet

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The local MSP for Longannet power station has called for UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore to come clean on the UK Government’s decision to pull out of the groundbreaking carbon caputre project planned for Longannet in Fife.

The calls follow an interview with the BBC where a Scottish Power spokesman said there were no technical problems with the project and that it had been cancelled by the UK government solely on the basis of cost.  This contradicts earlier claims from the UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne who said a problem with the pipeline length was one of the reasons for scrapping the scheme.

Speaking to the BBC Keith Anderson of Scottish Power said of the reasons for cancellation: “‘Here’s how much it’s going to cost.  Does the government think in the current climate is this is a sensible use of £1.5bn?’ They came back and told us – ‘No, therefore we have to bring the process to an end’.”

Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker said:

“It is time for straight answers from the UK Government.  Longannet and the workforce there have been let down appallingly.

“UK Ministers were happy enough to visit Longannet for publicity and pictures but were not willing to put up the long term investment that would put Scotland and Fife at the future of clean energy generation and boost employment across the area.

“Chris Huhne has been caught out.  Scottish Power are clear it could be done and that there were no technical difficulties.  The Lib Dems and UK Government owe the people of Fife a straight answer.

“The more information that emerges about the UK’s actions over Longannet the bigger the questions over what the Scottish Secretary has actually been doing for Scotland.”

1. The interview can be found at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-15511590