29 Jun 2010

Hampshire to be oil rush zone warns Keith Taylor MEP

Keith Taylor is the new Green Party MEP for the South East, after Caroline Lucas became an MP she stood down and he is next on the list, he is going to continue all her good work for peace, justice and the environment.

He fears that Hampshire could be blighted like the gulf of Mexico by oil exploration.

When Hampshire and the South East's Green MEP Keith Taylor tours Hampshire this Friday (1), he will warn that oilmen risk turning England’s southern counties into ‘one big oil field’ - pointing to a new trend for looking for oil here in the region now that North Sea oil is becoming too expensive to access.

Australian oil firm Norwest is reported to have found seven new sites in the Wessex basin, including under the western tip of the Isle of Wight (2).

Keith comments: “My greatest concern is that oil companies will earmark sites in Hampshire – both onshore and off-shore – for new drilling which could conflict with renewable energy plans.

“For example, energy company Eneco is planning to build a giant offshore wind farm off the Isle of Wight, which could be up and running by 2018. This kind of forward thinking development must be given priority over unsustainable new oil ventures in the region.”

A recent report by the Offshore Valuation Group has estimated that using just one-third of the UK’s wind, wave and tidal resource could unlock the electricity equivalent of one billion barrels of oil a year, matching North Sea oil and gas production, and could reduce CO2 emissions by 1.1 billion tonnes by 2050 – creating 145,000 jobs in the process.

The Green MEP continues: “In light of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and volatile oil prices, the need for urgent change away from fossil fuel-powered energy systems is clearer than ever. Investment in an energy system based on renewables and energy efficiency can bring about this change – creating new green jobs and helping to stabilise the economy in the process.

“Global Climate Network has found that more than 20 million new employment opportunities could be created between now and 2020 in low-carbon energy industries across nine leading economies.”

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