New deep sea drilling is not only irrational, our lawyers say it's illegal too

Posted by jamess — 2 September 2010 at 9:34am - Comments

BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

Today our lawyers sent a letter to the UK government threatening legal action over their decision to continue giving licenses for deep sea oil drilling even before we know for certain the causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

We're asking the government to stop giving out these licenses for new offshore drilling and to carry out a comprehensive new environmental assessment into offshore oil. It's not just irrational to give out licenses without this new environmental assessment; we believe it's also a breach of European and UK law.

We want the UK to follow Obama's lead and introduce a moratorium on deep sea drilling. As the US Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salizar, said when introducing their moratorium: "A pause on deep sea drilling is essential and appropriate to protect communities, coasts, and wildlife from the risks that deepwater drilling currently pose… I am basing my decision on evidence that grows every day of the industry’s inability in the deepwater to contain a catastrophic blow out, respond to an oil spill, and to operate safely."

Our lawyers have a strong record. You may remember that they helped us to get the last government's nuclear and aviation policies changed.

This is just the first step in the legal process. If the government does not give us an undertaking within 14 days that it will stop the licensing and do a new environmental assessment, we plan to go to court.

Read how the story was covered in the Financial Times today.

The legal case is laid out in the letter linked in the blog. Here it is in case you missed it.
The legal case is laid out in the letter linked in the blog. Here it is in case you missed it.

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