Prague, 7 April 2010 - Martin Roman can congratulate himself today. If nothing unexpected happens, a former spokeswoman of the CEZ owned coal-fired power plant Prunerov will shortly be announced as the new Environment Minister of the Czech Republic (1). The long awaited decision on the EIA for a 25 year extension of the Prunerov II coal plant is likely to be taken by its former employee, Rut Bizkova. Environmental organizations consider this an incredible climax to the political crisis which CEZ triggered last month through its manipulation of the Prime Minister Jan Fischer to force the now ex-Environment Minister Dusik to approve CEZ’s plan. The proposal for Prunerov has been found not to comply with best available technology regulations required by Czech and European law and this will result in millions of extra carbon dioxide emissions over the proposed extended lifetime. (2)
The current Deputy Minister of Environment, Mrs Rut Bizkova, worked as a spokesperson for CEZ’s coal-fired power plants in the second half of the nineties, but her parent company has also benefited from her post in the Ministry of Environment. In 2006, Mrs Blizkova helped push through the so-called National Allocation Plan (NAP), which despite the opposition of environmental organizations, allocated CEZ several million more allowances for greenhouse gas emissions than the corporation actually needed. CEZ subsequently earned several billion CZK from selling the surplus allowances (3). Deputy Bizkova was nominated for the Ropak Award for Anti-Ecology in 2006 for her role in preparing the NAP, where she gained a respectable sixth place (4). Bizkova regularly lectured at events sponsored by CEZ and provides them with patronage (5). Bizkova was assigned yesterday to the position and subsequently withdrew from the ODS Party to be able to participate in a "non-partisan" government (6).
"We can only congratulate Martin Roman for his successful political King-making. The fact that in only a couple of weeks he has not only managed to prevent a negative statement on Prunerov, cause a government crisis and the ousting from government of the Greens, but he has also arranged for the key post of Minister of the Environment eventually to become occupied by the former spokesman for coal-fired power plants. The stamina of the man is phenomenal! We take this as a more explicit proof that the laws of this country do not govern CEZ, but rather CEZ governs the politicians," Jan Rovensky from Greenpeace said today.
Lawyer Environmental Law Service Jan Srytr adds: "Prime Minister Jan Fischer said that the new Environment Minister must be a real expert. If it is Mrs. Ruth Bizkova, then he has indeed chosen an expert on CEZ’s coal-fired power plants. By installing someone who worked as a spokesperson for CEZ and has long defended the interests of the energy monopoly, the Prime Minister’s appointment of Bizkova has thus successfully completed positioning the final decision on the power plant to favour CEZ."(7)
Meanwhile, CEZ seem determined not to wait for a final statement on the EIA before forcing their plans through anyway. Reports today in the Czech Republic (8) state that CEZ has already paying for new boilers to install at Prunerov which do not comply with energy efficiency measures or BAT. This further confirms that CEZ cares little for the environmental impact of Prunerov and prefers instead to save money at the expense of the health of local people and the global climate.
Jan Rovenský, vedoucí energetické a klimatické kampaně
Tel: +420 723 623 238, e-mail:
Jan Šrytr, právník Ekologického právního servisu
Tel: +420 775 154 087, e-mail:
Notes to the editors
(1) Info on Rut Bizkova from the Czech Ministry of Environment website http://www.mzp.cz/__c1256d51007c88c5.nsf/pages/vedeni_ministerstva
- Between 1994 - 1998 she worked as a spokesperson of coal power plants of CEZ, a.s.,
- Since 1999 she has been advisor to the Deputy Minister of Industry and commerce for energy, metals and construction.
(2) DNV Press Release on Conclusions of assessment of Prunerov
“The impact from the deviation on net unit efficiency in terms of CO2 emissions is calculated as 205,082 tons of CO2 per year”
(3) In the first year of the period for which the allowances are allocated, CEZ received what it called an “over-allocation” of one million allowances http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/emission/pdf/vesu2008public.xls. While the price of allowances in that year amounted to EUR 30 per piece (http://energy.sia-conseil.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/ze3.jpg) selling surplus allowances to CEZ in one year allowed the corporation to earn over a quarter of a billion Czech Crowns (approx. EUR 10 million).
(5) In her last year as Deputy, Bizkova provided patronage at the 9th Energy Congress, although it was a unilateral event to promote the further development of coal and nuclear energy and to challenge the importance of climate change, which completely lacked the voices of supporters of sustainable energy http://www.business-forum.cz/9-energeticky-kongres-CR/ener09.pdf
(7) Article from the 6th April, 2010 “ODS and CSSD disagreed with each other in the government, the judge is Fischer” stated: "It is a condition that the person nominated by the ODS will truly be an expert," said Jan Fischer, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. ODS Deputy Chairman, Petr Necas, refused to say with whom they will side http://aktualne.centrum.cz/domaci/politika/clanek.phtml?id=665233