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January 10, 2011
4:52 PM

CONTACT: Food & Water Watch Europe

Gabriella Zanzanaini, +32488409662, gzanzanaini(at)

Recommendations of UK Report on Deepwater Drilling Don’t Go Far Enough

Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Europe

BRUSSELS - January 10 - "The newly published report by the UK's Energy and Climate Committee on the implications of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill for deepwater drilling on the UK Continental Shelf fully reaffirms Food & Water Europe's position on the specific dangers of deepwater drilling in the region.

"The conclusions and recommendations of the report affirm the warnings that we flagged more than six months ago following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The lack of investment into safety technology by oil companies, leads to their inability to prepare for ‘high consequence, low probability' events. Furthermore, an oil spill off the coast of the Shetlands would be far harder to clean up than the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico due to the harsh weather conditions in the region. Finally, UK and EU legislation fails to clearly define liability in case of a large-scale oil spill in the region.

"Food & Water Europe's map shows how the ocean currents would contaminate the entire North Sea should there be a spill West of the Shetlands."

"While we welcome most findings of the report, we are baffled by its recommendation against a moratorium even though the extensive evidence within the report itself clearly calls for one.

"EU and UK officials who continue to allow deepwater oil drilling before the proper precautions are in place and the necessary improvements have been made should keep in mind that their irresponsible behaviour will be held accountable in the event of an oil spill."

Food & Water Europe is a program of Food & Water Watch, Inc., a non-profit consumer NGO based in Washington, D.C., working to ensure clean water and safe food in Europe and around the world. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.


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