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UK government criticised over return to coal power

The British government angered green campaigners on Monday by giving its support to a new generation of coal-fired power stations and saying the country needs to burn more fossil fuels to prevent power cuts.
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"Clean coal" has a crucial role to play in filling Britain’s energy gap for the future, the Independent reported John Hutton, the secretary of state for business, as saying. The remarks, it said, will be seen as a clear sign the government will approve plans to build Britain’s first coal-fired power station since 1984 at Kingsnorth, Kent.
Energy company E.ON UK wants to demolish an outdated plant and replace it with two units using cleaner coal to supply 1.5 million homes by 2012. But environmentalists are worried the new technology remains unproved and a new coal programme would undermine efforts to secure a new worldwide agreement to combat global warming.