Sarah Philipsborn, Bembridge:

A rather curious front page headline David 1, Goliath 0, (CP 22-10-21) regarding the UKOG saga, as who is Goliath?

While UK Oil and Gas sounds an impressive heavy weight name, UKOG is hardly BP, but moreover a small oil exploration company seeking to maximise its share profits, in any which way they can, at the fossil fuel last-chance saloon.

One of its latest projects in Turkey had to be halted due to seismic activity, and the minimum of research into UKOG digs up some less than wholesome coverage and antics of the company.

While the majority of us are highly relieved the planning committee voted unanimously to refuse the application for drilling there are some interesting pickings in the post mortem of how the Island ended up in such a situation.

The International Energy Agency has made it very clear there is no place for new fossil fuel projects if we are going to pass on a liveable planet to our children.

It has also calculated renewables are better for our heath, our jobs and our wallets. Where does the IW Planning department fit into the Goliath matrix as, they, after all, recommended the project for approval having apparently received specialist training on oil well applications.

It is particularly baffling no objections to the oil and gas development were made by statutory consultees on the environment, drinking water, landscape and health and safety grounds.

Were they all complicit with Goliath in their inaction.

How bizarre that no points were highlighted by the Environment Agency, given reasoned arguments and respected international reports exist stating drilling for oil and gas can impact the water cycle and drinking water in variety of ways from depletion in collection, injection of highly toxic chemicals, spills to disposal.

The Island appears vulnerable to such potential damaging projects without tougher environmental scrutiny.

There seems to be an inadequate IW policy framework regarding our environment, especially as it is clear the Environment Agency, which is supposed to protect our environment, appears to be sleeping on the job,

We need a much more robust IW focused way with tough environmental policies to be able to deal with Goliath whoever he/she /they might be,

Editor's footnote: The headline referred to the quote from Don't Drill the Wight objectors' comment after their victory.

Read more letters sent to the County Press here. Do you have a view on this or any other subject? Send us a letter to