UK parliamentarians says deepwater drilling moratorium 'not necessary'

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

British Members of Parliament have said deep sea drilling in the UK should not be suspended but have raised serious doubts about the Britain's ability to deal with oil spill disasters.

So, those great wonders of brainpower have decided that a moratorium is not needed but have serious doubt that the country could deal with any oil spill disasters. Oh great! And what when it happens? Our seas will be finished but oil must come first and especially the revenue from oil. Are they actually mad?

The Energy and Climate Change Committee have released a report on January 6, 2011 into the implications for the UK following the US Deepwater Horizon disaster.

It concluded that a moratorium would endanger British energy security and would cause drilling rigs and expertise to migrate to other parts of the globe. What, you mean like BP going to Russia? They'll do that soon anyway as they wells will run dry shortly and let's not forget that the Norwegian fields had a blow out as well last year and it was only through luck that the second blow out preventer managed to shut the well after the first was destroyed.

While the Committee found that the UK has high offshore regulatory standards, it said it had serious doubts about the systems in place for dealing with oil spills, particularly in very deep wells.

The Committee rejected calls for increased regulatory oversight by the EU but recommended that the Government works with the EU on clarification of clear up costs.

It recommended that a new directive be drawn up to ensure that oil companies are responsible for the costs and remediation of any environmental damage so that the cost does not fall to the taxpayer.

It also recommended that the Government ensures that any capping, containment and clean-up systems are designed to take full account of the harsh and challenging environment West of Shetland.

While Energy minister Charles Hendry said he welcomed the report and would consider its recommendations in detail, Greenpeace, condemned it.

Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said: "This report lists all the reasons why a ban on deep sea drilling makes sense and then ignores its own findings.

"The oil companies have no idea how they would deal with a major spill off the coast of the UK but apparently we're supposed to trust them until they come up with an adequate plan."

While most of us, I am sure, are aware of the fact by now that our energy security, a little like our food security, is under threat because of cheap, abundant oil is coming to an end, this is no reason to threaten our entire coast by the practice of deepwater drilling.

But, before anyone thinks it has to do with our energy security – it has not. It has, however, everything to do with money and profits for the oil industry. It would be much better if government would deal in the same way – or better – with the renewable energy sector; but it does not.

Anyone wonder why not? Well, there is not taxes to be collected from solar power on your roof.

© 2011