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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November, 2003, 10:15 GMT
Concern over power station fuel
Drax Power Station
Drax supplies almost 10% of the power used in England and Wales
A North Yorkshire power station could soon be burning the controversial petcoke fuel after the Environment Agency "lost its bottle" on the issue, says an MP.

The huge Drax power station near Selby supplies almost 10% of the electricity used in England and Wales.

In an effort to cut the station's running costs, bosses want to burn petcoke, an oil-based fuel, which can be mixed with coal.

The Environment Agency says a decision on the use of petcoke will be made next week.

The fuel has been linked with health and environmental problems because of its sulphur content.

Residents close to the power station have been vigorously opposing its introduction.

Now Selby's Labour MP John Grogan says he is angry with the government agency, believing that permission for the use of petcoke is only days away.

He said: "They've lost their bottle on it basically.

"They commissioned a study into the economic case for burning petcoke, and I understand it came back inconclusive, but they're still going to give permission anyway."

An Environment Agency spokesman told BBC News Online: "All I can say is that we will be making a decision next week."

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