23 January 2019
Bournemouth's Green Party councillor Simon Bull and Green Party Deputy Leader Amelia Womack are pictured in this YouTube video sharing their views on the proposed oil rig.
After full licensing for test oil drilling in Poole Bay was rammed through by the Conservative Government, oil rig installation is expected to start imminently, within sight of Bournemouth, Purbeck and the Isle of Wight. Oil company Corallian acknowledge that "mobile offshore drilling units" caused 228 oil spillages in 15 years.
Green campaigners warn that an accident at the site could devastate the coast. An oil spill affecting Bournemouth Beach, the Jurassic Coast or Isle of Wight could rapidly wipe out the holiday trade, with disastrous consequences for thousands of local businesses, tens of thousands of local jobs, and the proud traditions of Bournemouth and the Dorset/Wessex coast.
BBC News reports: "If oil can be economically produced, Corallian proposes extracting it by drilling horizontally from the shore, although such a scheme would require a separate licence." They are eyeing local wells believed to contain 30 million barrels of oil.
"...Corallian acknowledged that there had been about 228 smaller spills from mobile offshore drilling units between 1990 and 2005."
The independent Dorset Wildlife Trust has declared the environmental risks too great. There is particular concern over the rig's likely damage to habitat of the protected population of seahorses in the area.
Other independent anti-drilling voices whom Conservative ministers have ignored include:
- TV presenters Chris Packham, Kate Humble and Miranda Krestovnikoff
- Bournemouth Natural Science Society
- Birds of Poole Harbour
- East Dorset Friends of the Earth
- A protest on Bournemouth Beach attended by 40 concerned citizens.
Simon Bull, Green Party councillor for Winton East, said: "If there is any oil leak, it could go as far as France. We need to draw a line in the sand, so to speak, and put a stop to this test rig."
While visiting Bournemouth where she addressed local campaign group Save Our Shores Bournemouth, Green Party of England and Wales deputy leader Amelia Womack said: "The UN have told us that we have 12 years to take positive steps to stop the worst effects of climate change.
"We've seen a rise in renewables, we've seen a rise in changing opinions about the future of our environment, and this is a window of opportunity to take action. By investing in the energy of the past, we are not building our resilience for the future.
"So we need to make sure that we oppose this oil rig, we oppose oil exploration, especially in such a beautiful community and coastline."
- Attend (and share) the independent non-party protest this Saturday (26th Jan), 11.30am, Bournemouth Beach