The Scottish Government is playing politics with Scottish jobs


Ian Duncan MEP has reacted to the news that the Scottish Government has blocked fracking in Scotland:

'Since the mid 1990’s almost all Scotland’s offshore oil and gas reserves have been fracked.  Indeed North Sea Oil relies upon fracking.

'Unconventional hydrocarbons have been extracted onshore in Scotland since the 1990s, regulated by the UK Health & Safety Executive (which also regulates offshore wells) and the Scottish Government’s own Environmental Protection Agency.  Setting aside the fact that oil and gas were extracted onshore without incident, the Scottish Government is already in possession of a significant body of evidence regarding the safety and success of the extraction methods.

'Indeed the Scottish Government’s own expert panel in July of last year declared that, ‘much of the regulatory regime is already in place to ensure effective monitoring and control of unconventional oil and gas developments.’ They went on to say, ‘there could be a number of positive economic impacts from the development of unconventional hydrocarbons, particularly in the petrochemical industry’

'Following the declaration of the Labour Party’s Scottish leader Jim Murphy that he would ban fracking in Scotland, it now appears that the SNP are trying to outflank Mr Murphy.  It seems a long time since all Scotland’s political parties united to defend the Grangemouth Refinery, which now relies solely upon gas fracked in the USA.  The Scottish Government and the Labour Party want to power Grangemouth refinery on gas fracked in other people’s back yards.

'It would be far better if Grangemouth refinery could rely upon gas recovered a stone’s throw away from its front gates.  At a time when North Sea jobs are under such intense pressure, it seems perverse that the Scottish Government is willing to ignore the opportunities represented by unconventional gas and oil.'

Ian Duncan is the Conservative MEP for Scotland and was previously an analyst for BP.

He holds a PhD in Geology from Bristol University and has worked in the Oil Shale deposits of Colorado.

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