Friends of the Earth: Oil site near Gatwick will face ‘huge opposition’

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Friends of the Earth has said communities will pose ‘huge opposition’ to extracting oil from major reserves found at a drilling site near Gatwick.

UK Oil & Gas Investments this morning (Thursday April 9) confirmed up to 100bn barrels of oil had been found beneath Horse Hill.

Chief executive Stephen Sanderson said it meant The Weald area could yield up to 30 per cent of the UK’s oil demand.

Brenda Pollack, spokesman for Friends of the Earth South East, said: “The prospect of dirty oil extraction in southern England will greatly alarm local communities and put fracking firmly on the region’s election agenda.

“Any firm proposing to drill for oil in the region knows it will face huge opposition - as happened at Balcombe, Fernhurst and Wisborough Green. Drilling proposals in Sussex have already been turned down.

“The next Government must end our reliance on climate-changing fossil fuels and invest in real solutions to the energy challenges we face, such as renewable power and energy efficiency.”

Brenda, 51, of Brighton, has campaigned for the group for 23 years.