Tom Blenkinsop, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, today branded as “appalling” the fact that the Government did not appear to take into account Teesside’s local economy when deciding not to award Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) commercialisation funding to Teesside.
“In Parliament, I asked the Government whether they took into account the levels of unemployment here on Teesside and the potential effect on the local process industry cluster when they decided to not award Teesside CCS commercialisation funding.
“It was most disappointing that rather than providing a straightforward answer to this seemingly simple question, that Tory Energy Minister John Hayes felt it necessary to provide a link to a 500 page tendering document. I have, however, taken a look at this document, and it does not appear that significant consideration was given to the local economy when the Government made this important decision.
“If the Government had funded CCS on Teesside, it could have had significant benefits to our struggling local economy. For example, we already have in place the pipelines to the North Sea gas and oil fields – where the C02 would be sequestered – so the Teesside bid could be both more effective and cheaper and would also boost the offshore sector. Yet, the Government failed to consider this. To me, it is very hard to justify not even taking local economic factors into account when awarding funding from a £1 billion pot.”