Surely not? But let’s look at the evidence.
For the last four years the Government has been blocking planning applications for surface coal mines. As a result the proportion of UK coal needs being imported reached 86% last year. Next month that will go even higher when the last coal mine in England closes without a replacement. Who is the principal beneficiary of the end of coal mining in England? Russia.
Last year 37% of the coal we imported came from the Motherland. This coal is for our strategic steel and cement industries. Some might question the wisdom of handing over such a vital industry to such a capricious regime. Vladimir Putin has form for using hydrocarbons to create international leverage.
That raises the question about what Robert Jenrick was doing when he lived in Moscow? Do the apparatchiks in the Russian Ministry of Industry raise a glass to Agent Jenrick every time an English coal mine shuts without a replacement? Have Robert and Vladimir been communicating on EncroChat?
Yet conspiracy theories are invariably wrong. So there must be another reason why Robert Jenrick is helping to transfer hundreds of jobs to Russia?
What kind of politician hands over the jobs of our Northern miners to Russian miners?
What about climate change? That would make sense if importing coal was creating less greenhouse gases than producing it in the UK. Yet the reverse is true. Last year dragging 6.8m tonnes of coal to this country from Russia and the USA created as much CO2 as flying 186 jumbo jets permanently around the Earth.
Don’t agree? Well here’s an offer. If XR, Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth want to provide us with their own estimates of the carbon transport costs of coal imports we will publish them in tomorrow’s final article. Will they do that? No, they will stay silent because when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions the activists are all about slogans not reality.
They will be as silent as The Guardian is about how much coal was used to create the steel and cement in its London headquarters. The Guardian’s slogan is “Keep it in the ground” – but if the paper wants to reduce Britain’s CO2 footprint they should change it to “Keep it in Russia”.
After all, while our coal production has plunged, Russia has announced that it wants to increase its coal production by up to 50%. Robert Jenrick seems determined that Moscow will have a growing export market here.
So what should we think about him? He’s clearly not interested in reducing carbon emissions. And the Russian theory surely can’t be true.
So who else might Robert Jenrick be working for?
Tomorrow: 3/3 Does Robert Jenrick work for…….?