Police arrest four more people in West Burton Power Station protest

POLICE have arrested four men on suspicion of aggravated trespass at West Burton Power Station this morning (Friday 2nd November 2012).

The climate protesters involved in the No Dash for Gas campaign were arrested by officers after climbing down from a chimney at West Burton Power Station.

An estimated 10 people are still occuping chimneys at the EDF energy site, where they have been since the early hours of Monday this week.

Seven people were previously arrested after climbing down the chimneys and were released on bail pending further enquiries.

A Notts Police spokesman said: “Officers continue to have contact with those who remain on the site and aim to bring the protest to a peaceful conclusion as swiftly as possible without compromising anyone’s safety.”

No Dash for Gas campaigners say their occupation has prevented 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions since it began on Monday.

A spokesman said: “This comes after two more arrests took place yesterday following a successful attempt by the activists to string a rope between the 300ft high chimneys and traverse the 100meter gap between them on the rope.”

“In the next hour, eight more of the activists are going to come down from the chimneys, leaving more supplies for the six who will remain.”

“Two people will cross the rope line from chimney 1 to chimney 2 and from then on there will be a single camp on that chimney, which was the only one that was operational when the protesters arrived.”

Ewa, one of the protestors occuping the chimneys, said watching others move down the rope into the void between the chimneys was ‘terrifying’.

“Even though I knew it was safe it still made me feel a bit sick. But then, when we did the maths this morning and realised what an environmental impact we’re making,” she said.

“It suddenly hits home just how important radical action like this can be. Superstorm Sandy is being directly linked to climate change, which is directly linked to the amount of fossil fuels, like gas, that we burn.”

“Being up here in light of the damage we’re seeing from the hurricane feels like the most responsible thing we could be doing.”

No Dash for Gas say they have invited EDF Energy to discuss the occupation with them via Twitte but they have not responded to the invitation.

Campaigner Anneka, also occupying the chimney, said: “Unlike government ministers, No Dash for Gas will not have discussions with EDF behind closed doors. If they want to talk with us they need to do it in a transparent and open way.”

“The dash for gas is a direct result of intense lobbying by the Big Six energy companies; and given that gas is such an expensive and volatile commodity, their influence over politicians is going have a huge impact on the poorest people in this country currently living in fuel poverty.”

An EDF Energy spokesman said at the time of trespass, Unit 2 was generating 280MW to grid through the course of commissioning tests - and was immediately shut down to protect protesters.

The remaining two units are non-operational and generation at the adjacent coal station is unaffected.

The spokesman said EDF Energy was committed to improving sustainability and affordability for its customers.

“On affordability, EDF Energy has a strong track record for consistently offering our customers highly competitive deals. We were the first major supplier to announce a price cut earlier this year and our customers have benefited from the lowest standard variable dual fuel prices amongst the major suppliers for 50 out of the last 52 weeks,” he said.

“Our new standard variable prices will still be cheaper on average for the typical customer than all our major competitors’ which have announced price rises in recent weeks.”