Liz Truss to approve up to 130 new oil drilling licenses as soon as she becomes PM

The climate change committee has previously said it takes an average of 28 years for an exploration licence to lead to oil and gas production.

liz Truss

Tory leadership frontrunner Liz Truss will approve a raft of oil and gas drilling licences in one of her first acts as prime minister, should she win the leadership race, despite the UK’s net zero commitments.

The Times reports that the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, both of whom are tipped for senior roles under a Truss government, have been meeting oil and gas companies as part of Truss’ plan to ensure Britain’s energy security, amid soaring energy bills and a cost of living crisis. Sources have told the paper that as many as 130 licences will be issued.

However, many have already questioned Truss’ plans and their effectiveness. George Grylls of the Times noted: “The exploration licences are unlikely to bring prices down in the immediate future and green campaigners argue that the oil and gas produced in Britain will be sold on the global market, offering little benefit to domestic consumers.”

The climate change committee has previously said it takes an average of 28 years for an exploration licence to lead to oil and gas production.

Greenpeace’s chief UK scientist, Dr Doug Parr, told the Guardian that intensifying North Sea drilling would do little to bring down energy bills.

He said: “Unleashing a North Sea drilling frenzy isn’t a plan to help bill payers but a gift to the fossil fuel giants already making billions from this crisis.

“New oil and gas could take a quarter of a century to pump out, will be eventually sold at global prices, and have no real impact on energy bills yet still fuel the climate crisis.”

Maybe Truss isn’t concerned about the climate crisis given that the Foreign Secretary has links with US think tanks which made it impossible for President Obama to pass climate laws and also cited an economist who is linked to the country’s main climate science denial group.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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