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Over 20 MPs and Lords form Peak Oil group in Parliament PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 June 2007

On Tuesday 26th June 2007, Tony Blair’s last full day as Prime Minister, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and Gas (APPGOPO) held its inaugural Annual General Meeting, ensuring that the issue of declining global oil supplies will feature much more prominently in Parliament in the Gordon Brown era.

APPGs are composed of politicians from all political parties and have members from the House of Commons and the House of Lords.  APPGOPO will enable interested MPs and Lords to discuss Peak Oil and all its surrounding issues.  The interest by MPs and Lords in Peak Oil, and indeed the All Party Parliamentary Group, was much higher than the average Peak Oil commentator would expect.  Often it is charged that politicians are not willing to talk about such a difficult subject, but the APPGOPO has the support of over twenty MPs and Lords.  This actually makes it the largest political grouping looking at Peak Oil in the world.

The AGM, held at 6.30pm in Committee Room 19 in the House of Commons, made the election of officers the first piece of business.  Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, who has been vocal on this issue since becoming an MP, was elected as Chair, while Colin Challen MP, highly respected for his work on pushing the issue of Climate Change with the APPGCC, and Lord Robin Teverson took the positions of Vice Chair.  Labour MP Austin Mitchell, with 30 years of Parliamentary experience, took the position of Secretary, while Mark Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Ceredigion, was elected Treasurer.  David Drew, Labour MP for Stroud, was also present.  Many more Parliamentarians have offered their support for the group, but could not attend. 

The AGM also established the initial parameters for its mission.  It will use available Parliamentary processes to raise the issue, and there is likely to be regular meetings, open to the public, discussing the issue.  The first APPGOPO event may take place before the end of July.  The group wants to look at the technological and geological issues, the geopolitical issues, the government viewpoints and those of the industry, the impact of alternative fuels such as biofuels, how peak oil and climate change relate, and mitigation and solution options.  Although the group will not produce its own prediction for the date of Peak Oil, it will analyse the various predictions that exist. 

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and Gas is the result of several months work of collaboration between, The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC), and John Hemming MP.  Although it has no formal powers, and receives no funding, this group is a vital step in raising the necessary awareness of the issue, from which a rational response to the challenges can come.  Educating key decision makers and challenging established views on the issue is a task this group must, and can, achieve.  The formation group also provides further evidence that Peak Oil is far removed from the days of being a fringe subject.  Many of those concerned about the impending decline of global oil supplies may take hope that a significant group of their representatives are finally going to speak about the Peak openly in the corridors of power.

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