Patrick Harvie comments on oil drilling were disgraceful, Alister Jack claims

Branding those who support continued drilling in the North Sea as “hard right” was “disgraceful”, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said.

The comment was made by Scottish Government minister Patrick Harvie after oil giant Shell announced it would be pulling out of the controversial Cambo oil field near Shetland.

The minister said it was “only the hard right who continue to deny the reality that” continued oil and gas extraction is “simply not compatible” with tackling climate change.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Speaking in the Scottish Affairs Committee, Mr Jack stressed the importance of the oil and gas industry to the economy of the UK.

Branding those who support continued drilling in the North Sea as “hard right” was “disgraceful”, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said.

“I think that, as quoted, remark is disgraceful.

“I support future drilling and I’m not a hard-right extremist, just to put that on record in case anyone wondered.

“We have an oil and gas industry that is in transition – and the key is transition – and we will get to net zero by 2050.

“But when we get to 2050, let’s be clear, that on current calculations … 35% – I think it’s 20% oil and 15% gas – is our requirement in 2050 of our energy source.

“We need gas to make blue hydrogen and other products, and we need oil for the petrochemicals industry.

“The idea that oil suddenly stops would kill our economy.”

Read More

Read More
Scottish Secretary was not at Downing Street party

In his remarks, Mr Harvie did not use the word “extremists”.

He added: “It’s not all about driving combustion engines, by then combustion engines in vehicles will be a thing of the past, it may well be electricity, it may well be hydrogen, but it will be a thing of the past.

“We will still need oil for the petrochemical industry to produce many products that our economy relies on, not least instruments for the NHS.”

The Scottish Secretary went on to reiterate his support for the Cambo development, in which Shell had a 30% stake before the decision last week.

“I still think it’s better that we develop Cambo than bring that oil I talked about requiring in the future in from another country, that’s less efficient.

“We should get it domestically and support jobs in the north east, jobs in Shetland.”