The problem of coal a headache for transport

The Government is determined to fight against climate change, and the electricity companies have chosen the middle way: to dismantle the thermal power plants, which are the main generators of electricity in our country. But they are not the only ones who will be harmed by this decision. Transportation has a lot to say about it. Coal production is on the way to disappearing in Spain and, with it, some thousand transport jobs.

As it happens in other sectors, when a productive activity disappears, it also takes all the economic activity that it generates (it happens with the automobile factories, the alimentary production, industrial, etc.). And here is no exception. The mining basins of Asturias, León, Palencia or Teruel are in danger of extinction. And all because the European Union decided, some time ago, to cut public aid to mining. Not only that: the electricity companies have also decided to close the thermal power plants that are supplied with coal (both domestic and imported), because they have to comply with the limitations imposed by Brussels to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. It is true that there are many ways to do it, but companies such as Endesa or edp (formerly Hidroeléctrica del Cantábrico) have decided that the quickest is to close.  

José Antonio Casillas is a Minas technical engineer and transport entrepreneur. He has a company dedicated to the transport of coal, so he is aware that his future is in the air. In the first place, he wants to make one thing clear: the decarbonization process is not to end up with coal, but with the carbon dioxide that is emitted into the atmosphere. In other words, the European Union has proposed a series of limits that must be met to pollute less. But it is the utilities that have taken the decision to close the thermal power plants, to which the Spanish Government has not raised any objection.  

The associations of freight transport by road of Aragon, Asturias, Castilla y León and Galicia integrated in the CETM are very concerned about the favorable position of the central Government to the decarbonization of the energy sector and the suppression of thermal plants in Spain. For these organizations, which represent some 1,000 vehicles that work daily in the coal and thermal sectors, suppressing the plants in Spain would also generate serious indirect consequences for the transport sector in these autonomous communities, with few outlets for work and already deindustrialized.