Norway Refuses to Drill for Billions in Oil

In order to prevent the planet from warming to un-survivable levels, it’s going to require the powers-that-be to leave a lot of oil buried the underground. Admittedly, that’s more easily said than done since deciding not to touch known oil supplies also means essentially turning down billions of dollars.

So kudos to Norway for doing precisely that. Historically, Norway has been a top producer of fossil fuels, but it’s altering its course for the good of the planet, announcing that it will discontinue oil drilling and exploration around the Lofoten islands.

Oil companies have reason to believe there are roughly 2 billion barrels of oil near those islands, and they say drilling there is necessary to keep up the country’s current production of 1.6 million barrels per day.

However, the Labour party, which receives a lot of financial backing from big oil and has typically been loyal in return to these corporate interests, now says it is giving more consideration to the Norwegian people’s cries for environmental reform. Labour leader Jonas Gahr Store said it’s time for the oil giants to commit to a timeline for eliminating emissions altogether.

“The whole industry is surprised and disappointed [by this decision.] It does not provide the predictability we depend on,” said the head of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association.

It shouldn’t be that surprising, though. Time is just about up on being able to choose a sustainable future, and Norway politicians are realizing that no amount of oil profits can prevent that.

Norway’s conservative party has already taken some hard stances against oil on behalf of the environment, including divesting big time from coal and oil. Now with the Labour party on their side on this issue, it’ll be hard for fossil fuel corporations to find many allies to thwart environmental progress.

The oil exploration decision pairs nicely with a vote a few days prior in which Norway approved a plan to invest billions in renewable energy projects like solar and wind technology.

The question is: will other countries follow suit? Just because oil is still out there for the taking doesn’t mean we have to burn it all. It takes fortitude to pass up a guaranteed fortune, and not all countries (cough, the U.S. will soon be the world’s top oil exporter) are willing to pass on cash now for an inhabitable planet later.

The smart energy companies will be those in Norway that are starting to make the transition to renewable alternatives now. There are profits to be had in the future, we just have to make sure there will be a future for that to occur.

61 comments

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson29 days ago

Thank you.

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Dan B
Dan Blossfeldabout a month ago

Leanne K.,
Fine. You get stick your head in the sand, and ignore what you do not like. No one is stopping you.

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David C
David Cabout a month ago

Awesome, this is what the whole world needs to do...put people before profits.....but don't hold your breath waiting

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David C
David Cabout a month ago

Leave it all in the ground...or at least as much as we can!!! Thank you, Norway!!!

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Leanne K
Leanne Kabout a month ago

Oh eff off dan blossfeld, narcholes like you are a dime a dozen and we ain't reading you

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Leanne K
Leanne Kabout a month ago

Wow Australia they ain't. Good for them, a country with their priorities right. Now they need to stop whale and seal slaughters

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rita uljee
rita uljeeabout a month ago

a small step but good news! thanks Norway.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeldabout a month ago

This does not change much, as politicking has kept this region off-limits for years. Economically, this is not a big issue, as Lofoten is thought to hold no more that 3% of the countrys remaining oil and gas reserves. However, the Labour (union) party was the ones pushing for drilling previously, and may be a sign of a seismic shift.

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Linda Wallace
Linda Wallaceabout a month ago

Good for Norway. I wish Canada would do the same.

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Ruth S
Ruth Sabout a month ago

Thanks.

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