Green MSPs hail legal challenge to deepwater drilling

For immediate release 24 February 2011

Patrick Harvie MSP has welcomed a High Court ruling giving permission for a challenge to UK energy minister Chris Huhne's decision to grant licenses for deepwater drilling off the coast of Shetland. (1) The decision follows admissions by companies with licenses for deepwater drilling that they are unprepared for a blowout on the scale of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"This is a significant decision. The UK Government granted these licenses even before the investigations into BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster had finished. Since then even some of those already given licenses to drill in deep waters off Shetland have admitted that they are not prepared for a similar disaster in Scottish waters. The courts will now hear the case, and I hope they send Chris Huhne back to the drawing board.

"Events in Libya and the subsequent spike in oil prices have illustrated again how over-dependent our economy is on oil. Rather than take unjustifiable risks exploring for yet more reserves in even harsher environments, we should be moving urgently to clean energy sources for transport, heat and power. Neither our economy nor our environment can afford to stick with business-as-usual."