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A North Staffordshire MP has incurred the wrath of environmentalists by branding wind farms “extremely damaging environmentally” and “over-subsidised”.
Stone’s Conservative MP Bill Cash told MPs he would “vigorously oppose” wind farm plans at Maer Hills, near Newcastle, and Norton-in-Hales, near the Staffordshire-Shropshire border.
In a Westminster debate he said wind projects often “do not work and are over-subsidised” and challenged ministers to concentrate more on “clean coal” technology. Challenged by Liberal Democrats as to why he opposed wind farms, he replied: “Frankly, they just do not work and are over-subsidised. There is a great deal of opposition in my constituency to the non-productive use of such technologies, which are completely useless according to the evidence that we have received.”
Although he said he was talking specifically about the Midlands, he said he treated “the whole issue of wind farms with a great deal of scepticism” and said he thought they were “extremely damaging environmentally”.
Plans for the wind farms at Maer Hills – where Claymoss Properties has won permission for two 60-metre masts – and Norton-in-Hales – where Nuon wants to put seven turbines on farmland – have both provoked opposition from local people. Mr Cash was talking in a debate he secured in Parliament’s Westminster Hall, where he urged Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks to cut the amount of cash paid in subsidies towards wind power. He said renewable electricity generators were effectively being subsidised by £1billion a year at the moment. He said: “Would some of the substantial moneys that go to wind power, which is the major beneficiary, not be better spent on projects such as clean coal.”
29 November 2007
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