The decision by the Chancellor in his Budget last week to introduce a huge tax allowance for oil exploration to the west of Shetland is deeply disappointing.
Having made big profits from decades of drilling it is perverse that the taxpayer is set to further support this climate-wrecking industry which will starve much needed government investment in clean energy alternatives.
We need to be ending our addiction to oil and gas, not supporting more ways to squeeze every last drop from beneath the seabed. New deepwater drilling is just not worth the risk, the Shell spill from Gannet Alpha last year showed that even in easy waters, a long experienced operator can make a total mess of dealing with an oil leak. Any significant oil spill in this area could present a major threat to fishing, tourism and wildlife.
Dr Dan Barlow
Head of Policy, WWF Scotland