Mongstad saga continues / News / The Foreigner

Mongstad saga continues. Government U-turn turns up the heat. The government has officially pushed back the start date for carbon capture and storage at the Mongstad gas power plant to 2014. Labour’s (Ap) continuing political delay over the project has now become a trilogy, and puts pressure on environment-friendly SV. The latest chapter could be another nail in the coffin for the Socialist Left’s (SV) future in the tri-party coalition government, coming under a week since the Norwegian-Russian Barents Sea deal was signed.

terje, riis-johansen, mongstad, statoil, bellona, jens, stoltenberg, government, terje, riis-johansen, kjell, magne, bondevik, sv, ap, krf, erik, solheim, environment



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Mongstad saga continues

Published on Monday, 3rd May, 2010 at 13:22 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Government U-turn turns up the heat.

Mongstad
Mongstad
Photo: Nina Aldin Thune/Wikimedia Commons


What to do?

The government has officially pushed back the start date for carbon capture and storage at the Mongstad gas power plant to 2014. Labour’s (Ap) continuing political delay over the project has now become a trilogy, and puts pressure on environment-friendly SV.

The latest chapter could be another nail in the coffin for the Socialist Left’s (SV) future in the tri-party coalition government, coming under a week since the Norwegian-Russian Barents Sea deal was signed.

“SV has to discuss how long they can be a part of this. It has to sit down and talk about whether it can get support for more matters. If it can’t, the Party has to think about the question of further governmental cooperation,” Mari Steiro Tronsmoen, head of the Socialist Youth League of Norway (Sosialistisk Ungdom/SU) tells NRK.

Double knock-out

The Christian Democratic Party’s (Krf) former Prime Minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, believes it leaves SV with a huge problem.

“It must be embarrassing, and puts a lot of pressure on them as to the question of their credibility regarding environmental policy. There’s a limit for every Party regarding what they should accept,” he says.

His centre coalition government was bought down over the Mongstad affair in 2005. Bondevik resigned because KrF couldn’t accept having a plant without CO2 capture technology, and was replaced by current Labour (Ap) Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg.

“Labour is in favour of a polluting gas power plant, and we’ve known that since they toppled the centrist government because they definitely wanted this pollution,” he says.

Bondevik believes the pushback has also put the coalition government’s environmental credibility at stake.

“This is an environmental-political admission of failure. The so-called “moon landing” (månelanding) has turned into a huge belly flop.”

2018

Terje Riis-Johansen, the Centre Party’s (Sp) Petroleum and Energy Minister, blames the delay on difficulties.

“These projects are significantly more complicated than we foresaw, and there are simply more challenges along the way than either we in Norway or other countries expected,” he says.

But the postponement could mean carbon capture won’t be a reality before 2018.

Marius Holm, the environmental organisation Bellona’s deputy leader, thinks it’s scandalous.

“It’s not true the project has encountered problems. The only problem this project has encountered is bad political leadership at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, and that Statoil has delayed the project by using scaremongering tactics about costs.”

“Pull your finger out”

“The Minister of the Environment, Erik Solheim (SV), should now do his job and revoke Mongstad’s discharge permit. There’s no point in putting a gas power plant into operation in 2014 if CO2 capture isn’t ready,” KrF’s environmental policy spokesperson, Line Henriette Hjemdal, tells NTB.

Meanwhile, Kjell Magne Bondevik thinks it’s the environment that will suffer.

“I think it’s sad for the environment’s sake that Labour has got approval for allowing these gas power plants to pump out so much pollution, contrary to our international environmental commitments,” he tells NRK.



Published on Monday, 3rd May, 2010 at 13:22 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: terje, riis-johansen, mongstad, statoil, bellona, jens, stoltenberg, government, terje, riis-johansen, kjell, magne, bondevik, sv, ap, krf, erik, solheim, environment.





  
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