The Oil and Gas Authority in the United Kingdom has welcomed a High Court ruling which dismissed environmentalists’ challenge of the regulators’ strategy.
In its ruling, Justice Sara Cockerill rejected the contention that the OGA’s authority was unlawful as a regulator also responsible for licencing and approval decisions in the United Kingdom.
The OGA welcomed the ruling after Justice Cockerill had said: “I reject the contention that the strategy is unlawful because the definition of ‘economically recoverable’ was irrational. It follows that the claimants’ claim fails and is dismissed.”
The OGA said: “We welcome the judgment. We remain firmly focused on regulating and influencing the oil, gas and carbon storage industries to both secure energy supply and support the transition to net-zero.”
Three environmentalists had challenged the strategy on the grounds that significant tax breaks enabled fossil fuel companies to receive public money when prices were low and that the policy was threatening the UK’s ability to reach net zero targets.
However, Judge Cockerill said: “The OGA, in consulting on and adopting the strategy, manifestly had considerable regard to UK domestic action on climate change. It is common ground that it has taken steps to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint and it is patent that the driving reason for the review was to integrate net-zero. The OGA’s aim of assisting with the net-zero target within the bounds of its remit is apparent from reading the strategy.”
The coalition of environmentalists vowed to continue their fight against fossil fuel companies and authorities and said they were considering an appeal.