COAL INDUSTRY MUST COUGH UP CASH FOR RESTORATION
Ahead of a Scottish Parliament debate (2pm, Tue 17 Sep) on the crisis in open cast coal mine restoration, Scottish Greens are calling on ministers to guarantee that public funds won't be used to bail out the industry.
Earlier this year a judge at the Court of Session ruled that liquidators for Scottish Coal could ignore environmental and planning obligations that were designed to limit pollution and restore land once a site was mined. That ruling has been challenged by SEPA, Scottish Ministers and local authorities.
The debate comes as East Ayrshire Council doubles its estimate of the funds needed to restore the area's mines from £62million to £133million.
Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:
"Decades of open cast coal mining has caused serious environmental damage across Scotland. Former and current mining communities are being locked out of the debate on this crisis; they face being abandoned by an industry failing to honour its moral and legal obligations.
"The market for coal is declining and Scotland's future is clearly in renewables, so it is worrying that ministers still think coal has a role to play. We cannot allow corporate interests to walk away, and we must not throw public funds at a problem our communities did not create."