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There is no magic money tree, except for handouts for BP

There is no magic money tree, except for handouts for BP

The UK government paid oil companies $312 million to drill in the North Sea during the fiscal year 2016-2017 according to a new report by the HMRC, The Times reports. Successive UK governments insist “there is no magic money tree” to fund public hospitals and schools, or to insulate cold homes. But apparently the magic...
Today's oil drilling round could bust us through UK’s climate limits

Today’s oil drilling round could bust us through UK’s climate limits

The UK government is pushing a massive new offshore drilling programme, that will take the UK beyond its climate limits. Oil companies had until 2pm today to bid for 1200 blocks covering large swathes of the sea off North-west and North-east Scotland and England. This is the the 29th Offshore Licensing Round, and it aims to identify hundreds of millions in...
Subsidising spills - British public pays BP $300 million to drill and spill

Subsidising spills – British public pays BP $300 million to drill and spill

BP came under criticism this week when it caused a 95 tonne oil leak from its Clair Field into the North Sea. The company decided not to clear up the spill, and wait for the oil to wash further out to sea. The new spill comes as BP no longer pays net taxes to the...
6 reasons why #Budget2016 really really shouldn't subsidise North Sea oil even more

6 reasons why #Budget2016 really really shouldn’t subsidise North Sea oil even more

Osborne is announcing his #Budget2016 on Weds, and there’s lots of pressure from the oil barons for more subsidies and tax cuts. Their income has been hit by the falling oil price, and in all those years of bonanza profits they never thought to save for this rainy day (even though it was predictable given the mostly cyclical...
What is Energy Democracy and how do we pay for it?

What is Energy Democracy and how do we pay for it?

To build energy democracy we need to break the control of corporations over our energy. Companies like BP and Shell and the Big Six play an enormous role in determining which fuels are used to generate energy, how much we pay for electricity, and where the profits go. These big companies work hard to convince...
#Budget2015: Welfare for Fossil Fuels, Austerity for the rest

#Budget2015: Welfare for Fossil Fuels, Austerity for the rest

This blog was written jointly with Greg Muttitt of Oil Change International Today, Osborne announced massive tax breaks and subsidies for North Sea oil companies. A new £1.3 billion in subsidies will be handed to oil companies, with the burden transferred to the public. £1.3 billion could cover the costs of employing another 20,000 nurses...
A manifesto for Energy beyond Neoliberalism

A manifesto for Energy beyond Neoliberalism

We’ve written a manifesto titled Energy beyond Neoliberalism: “This is a call for energy democracy. Not energy security or energy separation. A survivable and just energy future means breaking the grip of elite interests on our energy systems, ending dependency, increasing autonomy, building diverse power structures through which we can hold one another to account,...
Cameron's floods response? Drill baby, drill!

Cameron’s floods response? Drill baby, drill!

The flood-waters are slowly receding. Communities across the country are still struggling to regain a sense of normality after the wettest winter on record. Questions are being raised about extreme weather in the UK, how prepared we are to deal with it, and whether or not this is a taster of things to come. You’re...
Cameron slammed for more North Sea oil support & subsidies

Cameron slammed for more North Sea oil support & subsidies

Despite the UK pledging to phase out fossil fuel subsidies in 2012 along with other G20 nations, Cameron is announcing a whole new package of political support to the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Letter in Evening Standard on fossil fuel subsidies and floods

by Kevin Smith, Platform Unedited version of the letter here: Ed Milliband is entirely right to critique David Cameron for breaking his promise to deliver “the greenest government ever.” Failing to act now on climate change, like the government’s cuts to flood defences, is a prime example of how spending cuts don’t equate to saving...

The EBRD should not finance oil drilling in Egypt

Today the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development is voting on a $50 million loan for oil drilling in Egypt. This is the first major loan by the bank in Egypt since the military takeover in July 2013. The EBRD seems eager to ignore the principles in its founding agreement promoting “initiatives in countries committed...
The battle of definitions: ‘no subsidies for the oil industry’

The battle of definitions: ‘no subsidies for the oil industry’

The oil and gas industry enjoys no subsidy from government, nor are we asking for any. – said last week by Oil&Gas UK CEO Malcolm Webb at the Oil Politics conference at Aberdeen University (I should mention that there were several more substantial conversations at this conference that I will take a little time to write...