It appears that a vociferous minority have hijacked the front pages of the County Press, together with a coincidental (?) letter from the Green Party supporting their cause — another successful marketing campaign.

However, political rhetoric, misinformation and scare-mongering have obscured the facts and the context has been ignored.

We know fossil fuels damage the planet and we know we need to reduce their use.

The most aggressive global CO2 reduction scenario envisaged to meet the Paris 1.5 degree C global warming target forecasts the use of oil will decline to only 50% of current consumption levels within 50 years.

The UK has a national debt of £2-plus trillion – more than £30,000 per person – a large part of which needs to be paid back which will take a generation or more. The IW share of that debt is £4 billion. Taxes are increasing but additional value still needs to be created from within the UK.

The Green Party statement that there is only 2.5 million barrels of oil below Arreton is nonsense. Independent assessment is 227 million barrels (mean) oil in place and 25 million barrels recoverable (median with a range of 12-49 million barrels).

Read more: Boris could set bold statement by saying no to Arreton oil (letter)

The Green Party belittles the value of IW oil - at today’s oil prices there may be more than a billion pounds of value.

It is a fact that oil produced in the UK for UK consumption is less environmentally damaging than imported oil. Transport environmental cost is less and oil environmental operating standards are likely to be higher.

It is a fact that fresh water aquifers are protected during the drilling/production process.

The Green Party statement that hydrocarbon exploitation will devastate the IW is nonsense.

Developments of this kind need unambiguous local rules to be defined by the IW Council to protect the countryside, tourism and aquifers etc, tight oversight of both operations and development planning by the governmental statutory authority, and a competent operator. A safe, environmental sensitive development can be achieved.

Finally, 4410 Islanders have signed the no drilling petition, 137,000 have not.