Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oil drilling : Yorkshire Wolds

Letter to Beverley Guardian:      ' Oil's not well on the Wolds '
We wrote  to object in the strongest possible terms to East Riding Council regarding proposals for oil prospecting on the Yorkshire Wolds.  The Green Party,  along with  Friends of the Earth (FOE) and other well-respected organisations,   campaign, on the basis of careful research,  for  development and  use of renewable energy and fuel conservation instead of the further exploitation of fossil fuels.   We have had a century’s addiction to oil  - and we must now wean ourselves off this addiction, as oil becomes harder and harder to find and to extract.  There are excellent alternatives which must be embraced instead of resisted.

Since the use of oil is clearly contradictory to CO2 reduction,  permission for exploratory drilling should never be granted on those grounds alone.  In addition,  the Wolds are and should be considered  an area of outstanding natural  beauty, and should not be subjected to blots on the landscape such as filthy, noisy, smelly, toxic  and brightly  lit oil extraction plants.  Wind turbines would be far preferable in all respects...and at least, with those, you can SEE what is going on.  Mining and drilling underground is particularly dangerous because it can have unexpected consequences:    ‘ fracking’  was apparently responsible for an earth tremor in the Blackpool area.  Underground water courses can become adulterated .  If this exploration were to be  ‘successful’  the resource would be drained and then the company would move on to despoil other sites, leaving a wasteland behind.  Unfortunately, the lure of the huge profits for the companies and their partners leads to them working very hard to get agreement for this appalling activity.  Think of  mountain top removal for coal  in the United States.   Where will it end?  How can industrial activity of this kind be contemplated in the Wolds?  There ARE alternatives – as usual, we have to choose.

The ludicrously short timescale of ‘consultation’ in this case is yet another cause for concern.  It suggests that both the Council and  the company concerned have little regard for local residents’ views.   Residents in nearby villages received letters only two or three days before the initial planning meeting (at which the decision was deferred). 

To allow this proposal for oil prospecting to go ahead would be a gross abnegation of responsibility on the part of ERY Council, both in relation to current citizens and to future generations, so please let your elected representatives (both in the Council and Parliament) know your feelings on this issue.

Shan Oakes
Green Party
Hull and East Riding