ENVIRONMENT Green activists exploited `Empress' spill for own ends

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The Independent Online
A major environmental pressure groups exploited the Sea Empress tanker disaster for its own ends, a report alleged yesterday. It also claimed that there was a cosy relationship between conservationists and the media which descended on Wales to report the accident at Milford Haven last February.

According to Lessons from the Sea Empress, commissioned by the Institute of Welsh Affairs, a think-tank of business leaders and academics, both sides knew each other well. "They stayed in the same hotels and congregated in the same venues where one side was ready to contribute to the sound bite for the other that would capture public attention."

Although the report does not name names, Greenpeace is widely believed to be the body in mind.

The authors, Dr Neil Caldwell and Dr Clive Morgan, claim that business as usual is no longer an option for the area. They said the whole episode appeared to be swing between black farce and tragedy and recommended clearer lines of accountability for decisions that put the environment at risk.

Lessons from the Sea Empress, Institute of Welsh Affairs, Ty Oldfield, Llantrisant Road, Cardiff, CF5 2YQ pounds 5.00.