Do Greens have a veto over future of North Sea? - Brian Wilson

I took part this week in an event at which Energy Ministers past and present – including the SNP’s Fergus Ewing - united around a statement on the North Sea’s future.

Our shared view is that the rush to condemn the North Sea oil and gas industry to early extinction is misguided. The skills and experience acquired over half a century have a huge amount to offer a transition to net zero objectives.

In the meantime, there is no obvious virtue in unilaterally running down our industry as opposed to contributing to international efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

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And before throwing away the North Sea, it would be good to see a lot more assurances of what the boom in renewable energy will actually deliver for the supply chain and jobs.

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All that was true pre-Ukraine war and is more so now. We are protected from dependence on Russian gas by our own production and past foresight that created interconnectors with Norway, which has no intention of ending production any time soon.

Unsurprisingly, scorn was poured on all this by our Green friends. A tweet to that effect was “liked” by Patrick Harvie, the chap standing next to Nicola Sturgeon at Bute House.

Does he now have the power of veto? it is a truly alarming thought that the fate of a great industry and the tens of thousands of Scottish jobs that depend on it could rest on the “likes” or dislikes of Mr Harvie. Alarming but true?



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