The UK government is weighing the feasibility of opening a new coal mine to reduce dependence on Russian energy, according to a report by the Daily Telegraph on Saturday, citing sources in the Conservative Party.
According to the sources of the publication, Michael Gove, the UK’s housing and regional development minister, is inclined to approve the construction of a new coal mine in the city of Whitehaven, Cumbria in the northwest of England. The project was originally presented several years back and greenlighted in October 2020, but six months later, the UK Cabinet of Ministers stalled certification and launched a new review of the project amid protests by environmentalists.
However, against the backdrop of the situation in Ukraine and the sweeping restrictions placed on Moscow, which include scrapping Russian coal imports by the end of the year, the UK authorities could end up approving the project despite previous objections, The Telegraph writes. Gove is expected to reach a decision on the new mine by July 7, but sources say this could happen as early as mid-May. According to the Cabinet, the mine will provide coal for key steel mills.