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Paradigm shift in the House of the North – reflecting on ‘The Sky’s Limit’

Paradigm shift in the House of the North – reflecting on ‘The Sky’s Limit’

  I’m trudging towards the top of Am Faochagach following my dear friend Greg Muttitt, who was for a long time central to Platform and is now part of the wider family. The smooth crest of this mountain rises like a whale’s back. Its lack of crags must have led to its name – Am...
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...
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...
Share price of BP falling - will Shell take over BP?

Share price of BP falling – will Shell take over BP?

As the London Stock Exchange opened at 09.00 on Tuesday, 16th December, BP’s shareprice was down to 365 pence. It was the bottom of a long slide from 448 pence on the 21st November and investors in the company looked concerned that BP was failing badly. Shares in BP have lost 25% of their value...
BP and #IndyRef - the need to constrain corporate influence in our democracy

BP and #IndyRef – the need to constrain corporate influence in our democracy

Around about 3.00 am on the morning of Friday 19th September, whilst anxiously watching the results come in on the Scottish Independence Referendum, we heard one of the commentators on STV ‘Scotland Decides’ explain his view that after months of the politicians being unable to help the voters make their decision, ‘business leaders’ had stepped...
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...
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...
Osborne's tax breaks for North Sea oil and a Thatcherism flashback

Osborne’s tax breaks for North Sea oil and a Thatcherism flashback

Back in the 70s, the UK and Norway took two very different approaches to the roughly equal share of North Sea oil and gas that they had within their territorial waters. With state-owned oil company Statoil at the helm, Norway cautiously put aside profits and levies from other oil companies operating within its fields into...
Death knell or crying wolf?

Death knell or crying wolf?

This briefing by Platform and Greenpeace examines George Osborne's changes to North Sea tax, and how the oil industry might not have it as bad as they are making it out to be. It then considers ways in which the Chancellor may respond to the industry’s campaign against the changes.