The decision by a Government Minister to allow prospecting for gas at Dunsfold in Surrey is “unbelievable” and “disappointing”.
Responding to the announcement by the Minister of State for Housing, Stuart Andrew MP, on behalf of the Secretary of State regarding the decision to allow the appeal for UK Oil & Gas to drill for hydrocarbons in Dunsfold, Surrey, James Knapp from the Weald Action Group said:
“We are deeply disappointed by today’s Government decision to give the go ahead for UK Oil & Gas to drill for fossil fuels in Dunsfold. The application was twice rejected by Surrey County Council and was also opposed by local councils.
“Even if the site is proven commercially viable it will take years for new gas production to come on stream so it will do nothing to alleviate the current energy price crisis. Indeed, the UK’s Committee on Climate Change has stated that ‘Any increase in UK extraction of oil and gas would have, at most, a marginal effect on the prices faced by UK consumers in the future’.
“The best way to protect consumers against rising energy prices is to rapidly increase renewable electricity generation, invest in energy storage and drastically improve the energy efficiency of our homes. Continued investment in fossil fuels will not only perpetuate our dependence upon them, continuing our exposure to uncertain and fluctuating global oil and gas prices; but, in the absence of a global cap on extraction, will contribute to the climate emergency already affecting millions of people around the world.
“With the commitments made to tackle climate change at COP26 still ringing in their ears it is unbelievable that the Government has allowed this appeal.”
UK Oil and Gas had appealed against the refusal of their plans by Surrey County Council. A planning inquiry was held last year.