Friday, 2 November 2012

Nodashforgas Direct Action

Friday 2nd November, 9am 
No Dash for Gas power station occupation enters fifth day:
- 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions prevented
- two further arrests
- rope set up between chimneys
- eight more coming down today

At 7am this morning the campaigners from No Dash for Gas occupying the flues of two chimneys at West Burton power station (1) announced that their occupation had prevented 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions (2) since it began early on Monday morning (3). The announcement comes after two more arrests took place yesterday following a successful attempt by the activists to string a rope between the 300ft high chimneys and traverse the 100meter gap between them on the rope. 

In the next hour, 8 more of the activists are going to come down from the chimneys, leaving more supplies for the 6 who will remain. Two people will cross the rope line from chimney 1 to chimney 2 and from then on there will be a single camp on that chimney, which was the only one that was operational when the protesters arrived.

Ewa, one of the campaigners occupying the chimney, said: 
Watching the others move down the rope into the void between the chimneys was terrifying, even though I knew it was safe it still made me feel a bit sick.  But then, when we did the maths this morning and realized what an environmental impact we’re making. It suddenly hits home just how important radical action like this can be.  Hurricane Sandy is being directly linked to climate change, which is directly linked to the amount of fossil fuels, like gas, that we burn. Being up here in light of the damage we’re seeing from the hurricane feels like the most responsible thing we could be doing.

No Dash for Gas have invited EDF to discuss the occupation with them via Twitter.  EDF have not responded to this invitation. 

Campaigner Anneka, also occupying the chimney, said the following: 
Unlike government ministers, No Dash for Gas will not have discussions with EDF behind closed doors.  If they want to talk with us they need to do it in a transparent and open way.  The dash for gas is a direct result of intense lobbying by the Big Six energy companies; and given that gas is such an expensive and volatile commodity, their influence over politicians is going have a huge impact on the poorest people in this country currently living in fuel poverty.

Press Contact: 07831 749972 or 07447 027112
To interview an activist up one of the chimneys:
 07528400633 or 07583356679
New video footage is available on request – please email the above address.
Pictures of the protest:
(High res copies of images below available on request)
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Find out more at  Follow us on Twitter: @nodashforgas  Like us on Facebook: No Dash for Gas
Notes to editors:
1.     West Burton gas power station is a 1,300MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant, currently under construction in Nottinghamshire. It is comprised of three turbine houses and chimneys, labelled Units 1, 2 and 3. Unit 2 is complete and is operating at almost full capacity. Units 1 and 3 are further behind, with Unit 1 closer to completion than 3. When complete, the new CCGT plant will emit approximately 4.5 million tonnes CO2 per year when operating at full capacity. This is more than the annual emissions of Paraguay.[i]
2.     According to the government, Combined Cycle Gas Turbine plants like this emit 353g of CO2 per kilowatt hour: decc/11/policy-legislation/ emr/2179-eps-impact- assessment-emr-wp.pdf . This plant had been generating 280 megawatts: environment/2012/oct/30/no- dash-for-gas-occupy. 353g per hour for a day is 8.47 kg a day (353 x 24 = 8470g) and 8.47 x 280,000 is 2371 tonnes a day. That’s the same asenergy that an average home uses for 182 years, or taking 465 cars off the road for a year. A driver would have to drive their car non-stop, night and day, for ten and a half years to emit that much: footprint/howmuchco2?co2=2371+ tons
3.     The night-time incursion was launched at 2am when the raiders got through the security fence. Under cover of darkness fifteen of them crossed the expanse to the chimneys then split into two groups and began the 300ft climb to the top. They are now building barricades to defend their positions. They have enough supplies with them to last at least a week and say they’re in it for the long haul. The plant was shut down shortly after the campaigners began the ascent. A further team remained on the ground to liaise with the plant’s managers. Before launching the protest they engaged in extensive consultation with an expert engineer and each underwent intensive safety training. footprint/howmuchco2?co2=2371+ tons

Facts and figures on the dash for gas (referenced on
·       Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, has called for 20GW of gas power stations to be built by 2030, approximately 20 new power stations.  
·       He has also guaranteed that gas power stations that already have planning consent can, if built, continue emitting CO2 unabated until 2045, i.e. their full life-span, by exempting them from emissions regulations.[i]There is currently 13GW of gas that has either recently been completed, is in construction, or has been granted planning consent.
·       Lord Turner, in his former role as Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, wrote to the Energy Secretary to warn this would lead to “the risk that there will be too much gas-fired generation instead of low carbon investment” and that the policy could take emissions "beyond the limits implied by carbon budgets."
·       Last week, EDF hiked their energy prices by 10.8%, the highest of any of the big six energy companies so far this winter.
·       Recent polling by YouGov found that 55% of people want more windfarms, compared to just 17% who want more gas power stations.
·       An ICM poll found that more than two-thirds of people would rather have a wind turbine than a shale gas well near their home.
·       The Offshore Wind Valuation Group found that harnessing just 29% of the practical offshore renewable resource by 2050 would generate the electricity equivalent of 1 billion barrels of oil annually, matching North Sea oil and gas production and making Britain a net electricity exporter.

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