Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Energy Review

Press Release – Photo Opportunity

Local Greens Raise Nuclear Influence Concerns With Wicks

Where: Outside Malcolm Wick’s constituency office – High Street, Thornton Heath
When: 1pm – 30th June 2006

Croydon Green Party will challenge Energy Minister and Croydon North MP, Malcolm Wicks, to base his department’s energy review on facts not hidden agendas.

The Party has serious concerns about Prime Minister Tony Blair’s statement that nuclear power was, “back on the agenda with a vengeance” when there is no evidence to support such a move. Of particular concern is evidence showing Labour Party donations from energy companies and lobbying firms linked to the nuclear industry.

Local candidate Shasha Khan and local Party supporters will formally deliver a letter from the Croydon Green Party to Mr. Wicks. They will also use street theatre to reinforce their message.

Shasha Khan said, “There is no need for nuclear power to be tabled as a solution to our looming energy crisis. The UK’s vast renewable resources combined with simple energy saving methods provide a safer and cleaner alternative.”

“It is baffling why an option that costs more, has huge implications in terms of waste disposal, could easily be the target of a terrorist attack, emits carbon dioxide in the production process and whose core mineral, uranium, is in ever diminishing supply, is being pursued! Our conclusion is that the cash strapped Labour Party may be determining its policy via a different set of considerations".

Figures published by the Electoral Commission showed money flooded in to the Labour Party from energy companies and lobbying firms linked to the nuclear industry. Crucially, the cash donations give the pro-nuclear lobby access to decision makers.

EDF Energy, which has 58 nuclear reactors across Europe, gave Labour £6000 late last year. In the same period, lobbying firm Weber Shadwick whose clients include British Nuclear Fuels gave Labour £19,500. Two weeks after Mr Blair’s now infamous ‘vengeance’ speech to the Confederation of British Industry, Sovereign Strategy, which represents US Nuclear firm Fluor, gave Labour £8000. Fluor is hoping to win a stake in the £70 billion British nuclear waste market.

Shasha Khan concluded, “It is important that Mr Wicks shows us all that he is his own man and not Tony Blair’s ministerial poodle. The facts are there for all to see. If, as I fear, the energy review concludes that the country proceeds with the nuclear power option with a token level of renewable energy, then one can only assume that decisions simply go to the highest bidder.”


Sources: 1) ‘The Independent’ - 27th May 2006 2) The Sunday Times’ - May 14th 2006

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