Isle of Wight MP opposes UKOG’s permit application for Arreton

A company’s bid to drill for oil on the Isle of Wight has been opposed again by the local MP.

Photo: Don’t Drill the Wight

Bob Seely, a Conservative, has objected to UK Oil & Gas’s application for an environmental permit for its proposed exploration site at Arreton.

Writing online today, he praised the work of the local campaign group, Don’t Drill the Wight, and other opponents of the plans.

He said:

“I am deeply concerned about the environmental impacts arising from this proposal. Not only does the proposed site sit on undeveloped greenfield farmland, it is very close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the boundary of the Isle of Wight AONB [Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty].

 “The application is entirely contrary to the high environmental standards we are trying to uphold here. We have 41 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, 395 local wildlife sites and we seek to secure a sustainable future, preserving the Island’s biosphere status and aiming for net-zero by 2050.”


Bob Seely MP. Photo: Office of Bob Seely

A year ago, Mr Seely objected to UKOG’s planning application for Arreton. He said the scheme was “inappropriate for the island”, conflicted with local economic aims and threatened the tourist industry.

At the time of writing, Isle of Wight Council has not confirmed when the planning application will be decided.

UKOG has now applied to the Environment Agency for a permit, which must also be approved for drilling to go ahead.

In response, Mr Seely said:

“I hope that the Environment Agency not only understands the strength of feeling from Islanders on this issue but also agrees that this application is harmful to our environment and everything we are working so hard to protect here.”

He has called for an extension of the Isle of Wight AONB, which currently covers about half the island. He also wants the island to become the UK’s first Island Park, to protect the wider landscape. He said:

“Our environment has been both nationally and internationally recognised for the variety of landscape, wildlife and level of access available across the Island. We do not want to see that tarnished.”

Mr Seely said there was a low likelihood of accidents in the onshore oil and gas industry but if they happened they could have serious consequences:

“I urge the Environment Agency to consider the unique environmental pressures that the Island faces; the ability of the Island to respond to such incidents; and the challenges of monitoring and assessing the environmental impact of the site in terms of the Island’s fragility as a whole.”

He said he also feared that traffic generated by the proposal would add to existing road congestion. And he was concerned about the impact of noise, air pollution and artificial lighting. On light pollution he said:

“the Island is one of the few areas in England with truly Dark Skies, and if we want to be designated a Dark Sky Park then we need to consider applications such as this.”

41 replies »

  1. “I guess we”. Goodness, you are drawn like a moth to the flame.

    So, it is your speculation but you are so unsure about it that you need some help! Good job I can examine English as well.

    But, just to give you a chance, as the French scientists were obviously beyond you.

    Were the scientists correct about emissions from German diesels?? OMG, they were, because they were scientists? Well that’s a large number of billions (£) that will need returning, after other scientists found they were telling porkies, but they couldn’t have been correct because the first lot of scientists said different! And, they all have to be correct!?

    And follows:

    A true tale. A conversation with a Scientific Director.

    “What are you focusing on at the moment?” (That was me.)

    ” I have to work up the budget for this project, and it is taking a lot of my time.” (Scientific Director.)

    ” Why so much time?” (Me again.)

    ” Because I have to find a way to get climate change featured, to access EU funds.” (Him again.)

    ” That seems a little suspect, mate.” (Me again.)

    ” Well, I am not happy about it because there is no real connection, hence the amount of work, but I don’t feel guilty because the graduates I will need to employ will cost far more than they should, because, otherwise they will find some climate change work that pays a lot more, and they can go off on jollies to Rio etc.” Him, a realist, and a scientist. He obtained his funds and his graduates.(They received no Rio jollies.) So, did his project really adjust climate change? Nope. The application for the funds said it would. Shock/horror. And some protested to continue with that? Shock/horror.

    So, I think I will continue to disagree with some scientists if part of their science makes no common sense. And I definitely disagree with almost any scientist who plonks “might” into his/her work. Those who state the laws of physics and arithmetic need to be remembered, that, to me, is common sense, and that I believe, and even more so when I see the mess some get themselves in trying to deny it. That is just fact, not guessing.

  2. So, just to clarify, you disagree with those scientists who assert that losing the Amazon’s power to capture CO2 is a stark warning that slashing emissions from fossil fuels is more urgent than ever. At last we’ve got there – (you and I. See below.*) . I think that places you fairly and squarely in the ranks of the deniers – those who deny that global heating (which I’m assuming you are aware of) is at a level now which causes scientists to assert that natural global warming could not account for it and that humankind is largely responsible, the main culprit being fossil fuels. In other words you do not accept what is commonly referred to as anthropogenic climate change. I think we’ve got there – (You and I. See below * again). You’ve actually in a rather round-about way answered the main question. How then to persuade those like you who are not convinced? Why are you not convinced given the overwhelming nature of the evidence? Clearly I have no answer other than fruitless speculation. However, explanations must be sought and efforts made to avoid your dangerously influencing those susceptible to such influence. This can only be done by rational argument which exposes the flaws in reasoning and/or a moral perspective.

    Other assorted points:

    A “Little Englander” is not a Briton who prefers British English spelling. Look it up.

    “Might” is not a word anathema to the scientist. Think about it. For example, her observations made and the data recorded, she is perhaps uncertain of the conclusions to be drawn and needs the cooperation of other scientists – part of the scientific method. (This is of course a red herring in any case; classic deflection.)

    “I guess we” – your example of my misuse of the first person plural English subject pronoun*. As I’ve said before, you are stuck with this Martin as I do not know the official deniers’ preferred alternative when wants to say ‘I and others’. I think the rest of us, we, will continue to use the word when the grammar of our language calls for it. We are “drawn like a moth to the flame” of our language. You may do as you wish, but if you wish to communicate, you had best let us know your preferred alternative.

    I’m not sure what evidence you have concocted which you think places “French scientists beyond me”. I did offer evidence that French support for the LGV projects was not quite as firm as you suggest, but you seemed not to want the links I had available and had offered. Nor am I sure of its relevance. However, watching you dig away is instructive – so it was with Trump – and no doubt in the fullness of time, if it suits you, you’ll tell me.

    You adduce the matter of “German diesels”, presumably to show that scientists don’t always agree with each other, and/ or to show that there are scientists who are venal and self- interested. Why, for heaven’s sake? The two examples I had given you were documented cases of precisely this abuse of science. Are you trying to work something out in your own mind? Perfectly understandable, but best done privately. These cases and the “true tale” you narrate do not suggest that the majority scientific opinion concerning the anthropogenic nature of the current climate crisis is misplaced or still open to rational debate in its essentials. Science is open to abuse like anything else. The “cui bono?” test is a good one if not infallible. I, like you and certainly all reputable science, “ will continue to disagree with some scientists if part of their science makes no common sense.” You and I however, as non-scientists, had better do our homework when confronting an accepted scientific opinion. Physics is, of course, a science. Physicists can be wrong, their science is often open to different interpretations, and can be abused/has been abused. This fact does not demean Physics, or disprove a proven tenet of this science.

    What I don’t think you have realised that you are saying, Martin, is that you accept the science which your gut feeling or prejudice (in the etymological sense) agree with, or which enable you to look the other way and reject fear, regardless of the innate persuasiveness of the particular scientific position at stake. An understandable human trait but not one which should be manipulated to try and disprove the said position.

    [Post edited at poster’s request]

  3. Well, my goodness!

    And around and around “we” go trying to state-what? Heaven knows!

    Scientists come up with all sorts of suggestions and reports. That is what they do. There are a lot of them. Some of their output is not as good as others. The one’s who include the laws of maths. and physics I find are pretty good.

    Some have to deny them, don’t they 1720, to open the gate and ramble away. Then, they do the same with the French scientists, and the German/American/USA ones that are inconvenient. Then they pick their own selection and say because they are scientists their output should be used to suggest others are deniers. That is lazy and totally incorrect.

    Back to the substance.

    Perhaps you can suggest how stopping UK on shore exploration for oil will slash fossil fuel use? Well, you have attempted it, and failed, simply because it will not. And the science on that is pretty straight forward. Beyond you, it appears, even as oil prices tumble as production is being increased across the world to allow for more to be shipped around the world, with the attached transport emissions-that your “science” is unable to identify, even though there is much science and statistics on the subject. And the good people of IOW can see for themselves every day as the ships puff by.

    So, you quote some science and then try and use it to justify a position-where you remove the correct science! Scientific? Nope.

    That is not an understandable human trait. It is someone who just repeats an incorrect message-and then quotes Trump! Formulaic, but so ironic.

    Meanwhile, I suspect those on IOW who want their objections to be registered will think twice about trying what has already been ruled against. Maybe not, but if they do not, then they will learn that it is the substance that is considered. And, your approach seems to avoid the substance that applies in this situation.

  4. The “around and around” nature of my response, if true, is a result of my trying to counter your various points, relevant and irrelevant.
    When we are discussing whether you accept that the Amazon’s loss of its ability to capture more CO2 than it emits creates an even more urgent imperative to lose emissions from fossil fuels, then I would have thought that your dependence upon Maths and Physics would have persuaded you to accept this fact. More emissions from the Amazon, less carbon sequestration in the Amazon = more emissions on the planet.
    I do not suggest that “stopping UK on shore exploration for oil will slash fossil fuel use”. I did suggest that exploration leading in all probability to production if money is not to be wasted will also then entail increased emissions. I have also suggested that stopping exploration will avoid sending out the wrong signals to those who look to us as an example of probity and might encourage them to do the same, – to explore therefore, and to use. I also suggested that given the immanence of COP 26, it behoves us to take decisive action in the right direction if the conference is not to fail. It must not fail. Your manipulation of the facts of my statements is to be expected now that we know you do not accept anthropogenic climate change, or at least have repeatedly refused to say that you do!
    I think you “open (ed) the gate” with your irrelevant LGV/HS2 comparisons, and then with your German Tesla argument. Hence my rambling.
    Oil prices are just a wee bit volatile, Martin, and although changes might help create the short-term gain for the unscrupulous, they do so at the expense of the planet and are misused as a last ditch attempt to deny and stop the overall trend away from fossil fuels, and let us hope, away from the unscrupulous profiteers. Current price movements, either reflecting or causing trends, are unlikely to stop the short to medium term stranding of assets.
    To continue with my critique of your posting, more or less chronologically, let me remind you that your argument gains little from your preference for all things American, especially the pushing of fossil fuels, but also the language to express it. “Nope” is “No” in British English. I think most Americans will understand it.

    • What a load of confusion, and more rambling.

      The situation really is very straight forward. Sorry you are so confused but there are a number of points you try and make that are just factually incorrect. And your point about encouraging others is just wishful thinking. If others were going to be encouraged, then why should they not be encouraged by a country that looks to reduce off shoring it’s carbon footprint and taking responsibility to bring more of it on shore and by doing, reduce it, by reducing transport emissions and then applying higher environmental standards?

      For someone who keeps deviating to English correction, (and then having to correct your own!) do try and avoid the constant oxymorons. The one about pushing “all things American” is laughable. If that were true, I would be pushing US imports of oil to UK.

      And “oil prices are just a wee bit volatile”. What on earth is that supposed to mean? They are currently falling as OPEC and Russia have agreed to increase output due to increased demand. Jolly good, as it will take some of the pressure off the rate of inflation.

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