Second day of protest at Horse Hill oil site

200804 Horse Hill XR South East

Vehicles visiting the Horse Hill oil site in Surrey were delayed for a second day by slow walking protests by environmental campaigners.

Yesterday, a similar protest delayed four vehicles at the site (DrillOrDrop report).

Today, local activists from the climate campaign group, Extinction Rebellion, said they attempted to slow walk a tanker heading for the site near Horley at about 8am.

They said the driver gained entry via another route but it was held within the facility until about 3pm by protesters outside the main gate. They then slow walked it, as planned, to the junction of Horse Hill and Reigate Road, a spokesperson said.

The action was described by the protesters as a “symbolic protest against the continued expansion of fossil fuel development at the site in the midst of a climate emergency”.

The Horse Hill site, operated by a subsidiary of UK Oil & Gas plc, received planning permission in September 2019 for 20 years of oil production. The consent, granted by Surrey County Council, will be challenged at the Court of Appeal later this year. Two months before consent was granted, Surrey declared a climate emergency.

An Extinction Rebellion member from Dorking who was at today’s protest said:

“As our planet gets hotter and hotter, overwhelmingly caused by the way we live our lives foolishly reliant on the burning of fossil fuels to produce our energy, despite the ready availability of many clean and cheaper alternatives; solar, wind, hydro, tidal, thermal.

“So, what do we do? Our local councils issue licenses to search for more fossil fuels, supported and encouraged by central government. That is why I cannot and will not let this administration lead me quietly and obediently to extinction, and why I am at this demonstration at Horse Hill.”

The Reverend Helen Burnett, a Reigate resident and Extinction Rebellion member, holds monthly multi-faith services at the Horse Hill gate. She said:

“The continued extraction of shale oil at Horse Hill is an aberration which flies in the face of the Declaration of a Climate Emergency at both local and national level.

“We must act to highlight the hypocrisy of granting permission for fossil fuel extraction in the middle of a global climate emergency – an emergency being ignored in leafy Surrey at the expense of those already dying in climate vulnerable communities. Those deaths and the destruction of the climate are the price being paid for the profit others seek by drilling for oil.

“To slow walk in front of lorries is a brave act in the face of the gallop which propels us towards the cliff edge of extinction.

“We will continue to do all we can to bring attention to the extractivism of UKOG here at Horse Hill, by slow walking, by holding our ground in the monthly vigil in front of the gates, standing literally and metaphorically in the way of this ‘profit before planet’ project.”

At the council meeting which approved oil production at Horse Hill, UK Oil & Gas plc described oil production as “sustainable development”.

The company’s chief executive, Stephen Sanderson, said the national target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 did not mean “a phase out of oil”.

He said oil was used in aviation and feedstocks for items including computers, phones, appliances and wind turbines. He said:

A world without these products is neither desirable or sensible.

8 replies »

  1. These people do not even practice what they preach. That means they have no idea what they are protesting about.

    If they led by example & showed that they were living there lives without oil or gas or there byproducts or did non walk on tarmac roads.

    Did not Carry the signs they do. Did not wear the trainers or the visibility vests that they are & did not wear the facemasks that they are.

    Not to mention how they got to the site on a bike/ car / bus or train all need oil & gas or it’s byproducts.

    Dispute giving abusive responces ignoring this post can drill or drop or anyone else including the protestors explain how they would live the rest of there live today, tomorrow next week & onwards if all oil & gas production was stopped today. The government banned using any products made of oil/ gas or there byproducts only some listed above.

    Just think even Ruth would be out of a job as she would not be able to write or publish her stories.

    Actually I think that the whole world would come to an end as we know it.

    The reality is that the covid19 lock down effects on our economy would be the preverbial needle in the haystack.

    Maybe some of these protesters would be better trying to engage in some of positive actions being undertaken to make as successful transition to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 by this country who are already leading the way in the world.

    • While the government has a policy to protect the many not the few. The second day of protest only serves as a demonstration of the selfish in my opinion & while I understand the argument’s that they put forward!

      We the people & the government are very are well aware of the changes that need to be made & the UK government are leading the way in the world to a net zero carbon emissions from 1990 to 2050 ( Over 60 years of growth with no increase in carbon emissions? ¿ which the many fail to understand & no one here has yet denied?

      This needs to be a transition which remains in the UK”s & it’s economies interests in the transition period for the benefit of all of the UK citizens interests as the leader!

      United we stand & divided we shall fall!

  2. MH agreed.
    A Meaningful dialogue of democracy would be great but the average middle class protester stoops to anarchist tack-ticks.
    What exactly do they want to stop/remove/reduce?
    They can either live a reduced carbon lifestyle OR they can abstain entirely from a carbon derived economy, so stop travelling, Try rubbing two sticks together to heat and cook like a primitive being, live in a mud hut and eat berries…

  3. Not ONE protestor has a valid claim to abolish fossil fuels, because not one of them could live without the derivatives produced from them. Short of sitting naked in the grass eating leaved and berries, almost everything we use comes from oil. Yes, I do believe we should, if possible, try to relieve the pressure on our planet, reduce pollution etc, but not in a way that returns us to the stone age overnight! None of them would survive a week if the government folded and switched off the oil and gas and it’s totally ridiculous to think of this as an option.

  4. Excellent action by Extinction Rebellion. Highlighting the fact that we should not be expanding fossil fuel developments and instead be maximising our UK renewable potential to support jobs, create revenue, and provide cheap clean energy in a sustainable way.
    Not quite sure what the comments above are getting at. Nowhere does it say anyone wants to ‘live without derivatives’, ‘abstain entirely from a carbon derived economy’ or ‘were living there lives without oil or gas’
    It appears those who support the never ending expansion of fossil fuels try to justify their believes by presenting information that they make up themselves. Not really a good way to get support now, is it?

    • JP – I personally think the world
      needs to transition to a NetZero economy ASAP. However, during that transition I think it’s far better that the U.K. produces as much of its own hydrocarbons as possible rather than funding dodgy governments with lower environmental standards than our own, while at the same time increasing GHG emissions due to transport and compression. It seems like your main criteria is that hydrocarbons aren’t produced near where you live.

  5. Or, jP could simply be doing what many competitors do on the Internet, trying to undermine their competitors. For all the anti speculation about those who are not anti having other motives, the same can equally apply.

    The “never ending expansion” is typical, but has already been discounted during the Wressle enquiry, where it was stated:

    “There is no suggestion that this proposal would increase the use of hydrocarbons, and the EVIDENCE demonstrates that the effect would be simply to transfer production to a more local source.”

    Not made up, but the reality that cost the locals £400k, by the activities of others, “protecting” them. LOL.

    By the way, in reference to made up things, where does the myth come from that developing a small oil find in the Weald will negatively impact the development of alternative energy?? This myth is trotted out continuously, yet UKOG is largely funded by small PIs, who will not be obliged to put their investment into alternative energy if they did not put it into UKOG. As many alternative energy schemes require Government funding due to poor economics, alternative energy actually NEEDS other UK businesses to be contributing money to the Government in order to help fund some of them.

    • Well said Martin & Simon.

      Yet again to reasonable points JP goes silent & disappears.

      [Edited by moderator]

      HH gas to wire is renewable energy!

      Locksley gas to hydrogen, hydrogen to water! but planning refused by ‘NIMBY’ all to stop Britain being successful!

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