Labour plans “A Great British sell out of Scottish energy jobs” - Alex Salmond

Former First Minister, Alex Salmond, has derided Labour’s plans to halt North Sea oil and gas investment as “a great British sell out of Scotland”.

The former energy economist, who as First Minster guided Scotland to self-sufficiency in renewable electricity generation, said;

“Labour’s plans are nonsensical, anti-green energy and anti-Scottish.

No hydrocarbon province can operate on zero exploration and development. For a start, that’s where the jobs are concentrated. They would cost tens of thousands of skilled jobs in Scotland and provoke a collapse in high tech supply industries - the very companies needed by the growing offshore renewables sector.

Instead of wrecking Scotland’s energy expertise, all parties should commit now to enforcing a carbon capture network across all the North Sea installations, by making it a condition of all new licences. When last in Government, Labour sabotaged the Miller project in 2007 and with it Scotland’s first entry into the hydrogen economy. This betrayal has been continued by the Tories refusal to invest in a carbon capture hub at St Fergus, despite planning to take countless more billions in revenues from the North Sea.

It’s not too late to secure these investments for Scotland but it requires a clear sighted determination to make continued oil and gas development compatible with the future of the planet, not this destructive student politics from Labour.”

Salmond went on to dismiss Labour’s promise to locate “Great British Energy” in Scotland. He said;

“This is a replay of 50 years ago when Labour pledged that the British National Oil Corporation would be located in Scotland. But BNOC quickly became privatised Britoil and then disappeared into the maw of BP.

What Scotland needs is its own public energy company - a Scottish National Renewables Corporation - to secure the public benefit from our people’s offshore renewable resource.That should be established with a 20 per cent share, as of right, in every offshore wind licence just as Denmark has recently announced.

The SNP administration needs to get its eye back on the energy ball and fulfil this manifesto commitment quickly, otherwise history will repeat itself and Scotland’s vast energy potential will be subjected to another London-led sell-out.”

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