Edwards warns of nuclear threat to coal

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The Independent Online
SUBSIDIES for nuclear power and a government bias in favour of gas threaten the future of the coal industry, according to Malcolm Edwards, chairman of Coal Investments and one of the front-runners to buy part of British Coal, writes Mary Fagan.

Mr Edwards said that for coal privatisation to succeed - the sale is due to be completed by the year- end - the industry must be allowed a free market. He said that the market was deliberately tilted against coal six years ago to promote competition in the electricity market and that the share of the companies that emerge from British Coal will fall inexorably unless the Government acts now to redress the balance.

Speaking at a Coal Industry Society lunch, Mr Edwards attacked the subsidy for state-owned Nuclear Electric of around pounds 1bn a year, raised through a levy on electricity bills.

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