UK Government energy policy and local planning rules on onshore oil developments need to change, say campaigners.
The Weald Action Group has published a briefing Why we don’t need more onshore oil in the UK, which refutes claims made by the onshore oil industry that their developments are needed to maintain energy security, that UK oil has a lower carbon footprint than imported oil, that they provide local jobs and that they are needed for plastic production.
Campaigners are celebrating as a cohort of onshore oil firms have been forced to walk away from the controversial proposed oil drilling site at Leith Hill in Surrey.
The consortium of UK Oil & Gas Plc (UKOG), Angus Energy and Egdon Resources Ltd has decided to relinquish the licence after concluding that “the required long-reach/shallow target-depth wells are neither technically viable or economically feasible”.
The Weald Action Group is holding an online art sale to raise funds for the judicial review brought by Sarah Finch challenging Surrey County Council’s decision to allow a massive expansion of oil drilling at Horse Hill.
Contributing artists including Ackroyd and Harvey, Merlyn Chesterman RE and Surrey-based Kiri Jones and Ali Tomlin are taking part in the sale, organised by Ann Stewart, which is found at artatwag.artweb.com
Work on sale includes paintings, woodcuts, photographic prints, ceramics and glassware, at prices ranging from £25 to £1,000. Artists will donate 33% of the sale price – and in some cases 100% – to the cause.
Two fathers in their 50s have occupied a drill rig at the Horse Hill site, in protest at the plans to scale up oil production at the site.
According to a press release from Extinction Rebellion, the two men entered the site in the early hours of this morning (10 October), using an access ladder to climb the rig to a platform approximately 15 metres above the ground. They have hung a banner from the rig saying “No More Oil” and are refusing to come down from the platform.
The monthly Faith at the Gate gathering at the gates of the Horse Hill drill site will start again on 4 October, after a break in September.
Each month since December 2019, local people of faith, residents and campaign groups have gathered at Horse Hill to stand in solidarity with our Earth and all who defend her and pray for a swift end to extractivism.
During the COVID-19 lockdown measures, Faith at the Gate moved online. The October event will be a hybrid – with some people socially distancing at the gates and others joining via Zoom.
Those going in person will meet at the gates at 7.30pm. Wear a mask and make sure to keep 2 metres from anyone not in your household at all times. Those joining by Zoom, please check the Facebook event page for the Zoom link closer to the time.
The event will most probably involve a song, an inclusive prayer and some silence, so please come along for this symbolic act of solidarity with our earth and protest against its desecration. Bring a tea light and a small square prayer flag.
Extinction Rebellion and other eco activists slowly walked in front of a tanker this morning (3 August) en route to UKOG’s Horse Hill production site.
The slow walk saw around 20 Covid-19 masked activists gather near the junction of Horse Hill and Reigate Road and proceed at a snail’s pace in front of the tanker to protest the continued expansion of fossil fuel development in the midst of the climate emergency.
Campaigners outside the Royal Courts of Justice for a hearing on this case in February 2020
Sarah Finch, a campaigner from Redhill, has been granted permission by the Appeal Court for a Judicial Review of Surrey County Council’s decision to allow the drilling of four new oil wells and 20 years of oil production at Horse Hill, near Gatwick in Surrey.
Sarah Finch and many others had objected to the proposed development by UK Oil and Gas for a range of reasons, including climate change. When Surrey County Council approved the plans in September 2019, Sarah issued a legal challenge, with support from the Weald Action Group. She claimed that the Council had failed to consider the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions of the project, and the government’s Net Zero target for carbon emissions.
Press release from Extinction Rebellion Surrey. Photos by Natasa Leoni
Today, Monday 6 July 2020:
Extinction Rebellion ‘slow walk’ a tanker destined for the UKOG oil production site at Horse Hill, in protest at the expansion of fossil fuel development during a climate emergency.
20 activists gathered in front of a tanker near the junction of Horse Hill with Reigate Road, and walked slowly in front of it to delay its progress along Horse Hill to the Horse Hill Developments Ltd (UKOG) oil production site, near Horley, Surrey.
This is a protest against the continued expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure allowed by both the UK Government and Surrey County Council (SCC).
The value of oil plummeted during the Covid-19 crisis and activists are calling on the Government to ‘build back better’ by investing in renewable energy instead of propping up a dirty, outdated industry.
Activists are wearing face masks as part of COVID-19 safety and etiquette.
Extinction Rebellion activists this morning (Monday 6 July) walked in front of a container lorry destined to collect oil from the UKOG site at Horse Hill in a symbolic protest against continued investment in carbon-emitting fossil fuels. Read the rest of this entry >>
Extinction Rebellion activists have infiltrated the UK Oil & Gas oil production site in Horley, Surrey, to highlight the fact that oil is over – it’s time for a green recovery.
Extinction Rebellion environmental protectors are today occupying the UKOG site at Horse Hill. The activists breached the site’s security and are currently within the compound, preventing work commencing. A further two activists are locked on at the entrance, blocking access to the site. During the COVID-19 crisis, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions have plummeted along with the price of oil – today’s action calls on the UK Government to seize on this opportunity, to stop funding oil and gas extraction in the UK and to invest in a green recovery.