We've just found out that the government gave Chevron permission to begin deepwater drilling in the waters west of Shetland late last night. This is the first deepwater oil drilling in UK waters since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. We expect Chevron will begin drilling in the next few days.
In the last week our activists spent 50 hours in the water in front of Chevron's drill ship, 100 hours on their anchor chain, and over the last 24 hours 16,000 people sent emails to Climate and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne urging him not to grant Chevron the license. It's been a Herculean effort by all and we can't thank you enough for your support.
The government's decision to open up drilling in ever more difficult and dangerous places to reach is totally irresponsible move and shows clearly that they've not learned the lessons from the BP oil disaster. That's why we're preparing to take them to court.
We're preparing legal action against the government in order to stop the granting of new permits for deep water drilling - we hope it will stop hundreds of new wells being sunk. Last month our lawyers wrote a ‘letter before action' to ministers which is the first step for seeking a judicial review of the decision to push ahead with new deep water drilling.
We're asking the government to stop giving out these licenses for new offshore drilling and to carry out a comprehensive new environmental assessment into offshore oil. It's not just irrational to give out licenses without this new environmental assessment; we believe it's also a breach of European and UK law.
But our lawyers don't come cheap. We think our planet is worth it, but we need your help. Please donate today to help cover our legal costs to stop deepwater drilling in the UK.