Balancing act

As one of the ‘activists’ referred to in your piece ‘PCC world’ on carbon capture and storage I would like to put the other view to balance what was a very nice piece of publicity for E.ON.


As one of the ‘activists’ referred to in your piece ‘PCC world’ on carbon capture and storage (News, 15 September) I would like to put the other view to balance what was a very nice piece of publicity for E.ON.

Your article began ‘attempts to reduce the environmental impact of coal-fired power stations received a boost’ which could have come straight from a company press release. No they didn’t.

Point number one. The opposition to Kingsnorth is because developing the coal infrastructure further is a ridiculous move given the challenges facing the world’s environment. Any claims about the new station’s ability to produce energy from coal more cleanly are irrelevant.

It’s the same as someone who smokes 60 cigarettes a day being told he is weeks away from a heart attack or a stroke and deciding that the thing to do is to cut down to 30 a day. He’s smoking 50 per cent less but the only rational response is to stop smoking.

Point number two. The quote from ‘a company spokesman’ that existing carbon capture technologies are ‘expensive and inefficient’ deserved a bit more analysis than your journalist provided. Why are they inefficient? And as for expensive, if these energy companies (which as anyone with a gas or electricity bill knows are making a fortune) have to pay for cleaning up their processes, then tough.

Point three. The timescales given in the piece, testing to begin in 2010, are too little and too late to even meet the lower end of the government’s own targets for CO2 reduction.

I like The Engineer and have read it for some years, but feel that this piece was little more than a cheerleader for the energy industry and lacked any serious examination of the context in which CO2 reduction is being addressed.

M Fletcher

Guildford, Surrey