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London & Lincolnshire – In the early hours of this morning activists from direct action group Reclaim the Power  stopped construction at a new gas power station in Lincolnshire and held a hundreds-strong protest at energy company Drax’s London office (10 Noble Street), to protest their attempt to build a new gas power station in a climate crisis.
The site of SSE’s  new Keadby 2 gas power plant in Lincolnshire has been shut down, with both entrances blocked and activists occupying two cranes, stopping work on the new plant, the only currently in construction in the UK. SSE have plans to develop more gas power stations, supported heavily by government subsidies. SSE are one of the dirtiest energy suppliers in the UK: 65% of the energy they sell comes from polluting gas .
Hundreds of activists gathered at Drax’s offices in London, dressed in white boiler suits and with a four-metre high model gas tower. They are protesting Drax’s proposed new gas plant in Yorkshire, which would be responsible for as much as 75% of the emissions budget for the entire UK power sector . New Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom is due to make a decision on the proposal by October. To stay within national legally binding climate targets, we cannot afford to build any additional fossil fuel infrastructure in the UK . Activists have also targeted branches of Deloitte and Barclays who provide services to the gas industry – more actions are expected. 
Speaking from Keadby, Ellie Groves said:
“New gas spells climate disaster, that’s why we’re here today at Keadby.
“Temperatures hit 38 degrees in the UK last week, and extreme weather is already devastating many parts of the world. We’re standing with the people most impacted by the climate crisis.
“Polluting gas power stations like Keadby line the pockets of Big Six energy bosses at our expense. We need clean, cheap, community-controlled renewable power.”
Speaking from the protest in London, Milo Phillips said:
“The government’s promises to act on climate change are meaningless while dirty gas power stations are still being built.
“Drax’s gas plant in North Yorkshire would be the largest gas power station ever built in the UK. Drax and Keadby are the first in a possible wave of a new generation of dirty mega projects, built to pollute for decades.”
“Today we’re sending a clear message. We can’t afford any new climate-wrecking gas plants.”
Despite industry claims, research shows that additional gas capacity is not necessary for the UK’s energy supply – surging renewables are directly replacing old coal . Further actions against the gas industry are expected today, as part of Reclaim the Power’s Power Beyond Borders occupation camp in Essex .
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Reclaim the Power is a grassroots direct action network campaigning for social and environmental justice – www.reclaimthepower.org.uk
- Keadby 2 is the only new gas fired power station currently under construction in the UK at the moment. SSE have plans to develop more gas power stations, supported heavily by government subsidies.
- Deloitte audit Drax. Barclays provide Drax with banking services.
- 600 people gathered in Essex for Power Beyond Borders, which has a dual focus on the climate crisis and migrant rights.
- Keadby 2 power station won’t be operational until at least 2022, and could operate for over 30 years – well into the 2050s. Planning permission for Keadby 2 was originally granted in 1993.
- The Committee on Climate Change, the government’s official climate adviser, reported recently that it could be cheaper in the new few years to build new renewables than to keep running existing gas plants (https://www.carbonbrief.org/ccc-new-uk-renewables-could-be-cheaper-than-existing-gas-plants-by-2030).