UK - Stop Handing Out Oil Drilling Licences Like Sweeties

  • by: Judith B.
  • target: Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK

The relatively newly formed, and it seems rather ironically named, Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has been handing out oil drilling licences like they were going out of fashion.

The UK’s government has offered a record-breaking 167 new licences for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea and is considering another 67. At the same time, fines for the thousands of oil spills in the North Sea have been so rare and miniscule that they look like a joke.

Over 4,000 oil spills occurred in the North Sea between 2000 and 2011. Fines imposed for the destruction caused ranged from £2,000 to £20,000, so tiny that they wouldn’t even count as petty cash to an oil company.

With the endless series of spills wrecking the North Sea, the last thing we need is yet more drilling operations.

Tell the UK government to stop pandering to the oil companies by granting new licences for environmental devastation.

We the undersigned ask that you put an immediate stop to handing out new oil and gas drilling licences for the North Sea. The endless series of oil spills in the area is causing enough damage to the marine environment and to the fishing industries already. Even without spills, oil and gas extraction causes serious environmental damage. The last thing we need is more operations in the area.


The UK should be focusing on developing its enormous potential for renewables, not encouraging the fossil fuel industry in this unprecedented manner. The future of the country’s economy, environment and people depends on sustainable energy, not pandering to a dying and deadly industry.


We ask that you not grant any more licences, that you immediately review the ones already granted and that you introduce realistic fines for the environmental damage caused by spills.


Thank you for your attention.

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