Campaigners protest at decision to allow 20 years of oil drilling in a time of climate breakdown
Horse Hill Rebel Alliance, a new collaboration of climate campaign groups including Extinction Rebellion, will hold a peaceful demonstration near the Horse Hill drill site on 26 October to highlight the dangers of more oil drilling in a time of climate chaos.
Protesters will gather at the junction of Horse Hill with the A217 (opposite the Black Horse pub) at 10.30am to hear a few short speeches, then walk up to the drill site for more speakers at midday.
Speakers include TV Science Presenter Dr Emily Grossman, Rev Helen Burnett, who was arrested at recent Extinction Rebellion protests, local resident and Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate Lisa Scott, Pat Smith of South East Climate Alliance, Sarah Finch of Weald Action Group, a young speaker from Youth Strike for Climate, and Councillors Jonathan Essex and Clayton Wellman.
Dr Emily Grossman said, “The overwhelming scientific consensus is that we urgently need to move away from the use of fossil fuels and rapidly bring down greenhouse emissions if we are to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. Allowing 20 years’ worth of oil extraction here in Surrey flies in the face of both local and national climate targets, and will cause not only a direct threat to our financial stability but also criminal damage towards our planet. I’m here to support the people standing up for reason at Horse Hill – and to urge Surrey County Council to think again.”
Lisa Scott said, “Horse Hill is Surrey’s climate battleground. Approving more drilling here was the wrong decision. 20 years of drilling will take us way past the time when the government’s own advisers say we need to have stopped using oil in transport and heating.
“Drilling here also risks causing more earthquakes – something the Surrey planners refused to take into account, saying it wasn’t their responsibility. Local residents who have lived through the Surrey earthquake swarm since April 2018 are anxious and angry that the Council isn’t interested in looking at the evidence of the links between drilling and seismic events.”
Notes to Editors
- UK Oil and Gas Plc (UKOG), the operators of Horse Hill, recently received planning permission for five new wells (four for oil production and one for water reinjection, which is implicated in causing earthquakes elsewhere) and for 20 years of commercial oil production. They had already drilled one well and had planning permission for two more.
See a summary of the plans at: https://drillordrop.com/2019/09/09/planners-back-15-months-of-drilling-and-20-years-of-oil-production-in-surrey-green-belt/
- The Weald Action Group is planning to seek a Judicial Review of the planning permission and is appealing for funds to support the legal challenge: www.wealdactiongroup.org.uk