UK energy minister warns that the SNP and Scottish Greens would pull the plug on the oil and gas industry sector “tomorrow” if they could


IN an ominous pronouncement that is sure to send shockwaves through the energy sector, a UK energy minister has cautioned that the SNP and Scottish Greens would pull the plug on Scotland’s oil and gas industry “tomorrow” if they could.

Andrew Bowie, who represents West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, also lambasted the Scottish Government for its “backward-looking mentality” when it comes to nuclear energy, stating that they were stifling economic growth in Scotland by opposing the construction of new nuclear reactors.

With oil prices skyrocketing following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Westminster has been keen to expand its nuclear energy production to ensure energy security. However, the SNP and Scottish Greens have steadfastly opposed the creation of new reactors in Scotland, with only one currently remaining in the country.

Despite the potential economic benefits of investing in new nuclear technology, the Scottish Government has been unwavering in its opposition, a stance that has frustrated Mr Bowie.

He expressed disappointment that he had “given up hope” of persuading the government to change its position and that he felt that they had “no real plan to transition” workers from the oil and gas sector into new technologies.

However, Mr Bowie welcomed the fact that the licensing of oil and gas exploration is a reserved function, meaning that the Scottish Government’s desire to accelerate the closure of the industry would be impossible to implement.

In response to Mr Bowie’s comments, the SNP Net Zero Secretary, Mairi McAllan, defended the party’s position on nuclear energy, claiming that it was “incompatible with net zero” and that the focus should instead be on renewables and hydrogen.

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