Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has spoken of his fears for his region following Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to oppose new oil and gas activities around Scotland, including the Cambo field off Shetland.
The Scottish Conservative Shadow Minister for Business said: “These comments from Nicola Sturgeon will have cast a chill in many households across the Highlands and Islands, whose family income is derived from employment in oil and gas.
“The Scottish Government’s own development agency, Highlands and Islands Enterprise states quite clearly: ‘The industry is a significant contributor to the economy of the Highlands and Islands creating flexible, high value employment for thousands of people across all parts of the region.’ And yet Nicola Sturgeon, at the urging of her Green coalition partners, is more than prepared to throw the entire sector under a bus, without any thought for the consequences."
“And it is entirely self-defeating. As the industry says itself, if we turn off the tap here, we’ll only end up importing oil from countries like Russia. Moreover, the SNP/Green coalition has made no assessment or put together any plan for all those they intend to make jobless."
“It’s quite clear that we require a transition plan as we move from fossil fuels but it must be on a realistic timescale, takes account of continuing demand for oil and gas, and ensures that there are comparable jobs available for people working in the sector that takes advantages of their skills and experience. The alternative is quite unthinkable: the loss of many of our most productive wage-earners, and an exodus to other parts of the world as they seek to provide for themselves and their families.”
More on this story here: Nicola Sturgeon confirms her opposition to developing Cambo oil field (energyvoice.com)
Among those criticising the policy are former SNP First Minister Alex Salmond: Alex Salmond warns Nicola Sturgeon's oil stance threatens case for Scottish independence - Daily Record
And Fergus Mutch, the SNP’s former head of communications and research, has said blocking Cambo would lead to “unemployment and more imported oil for decades”.