The recent decision of the UK Government to cut £1 billion in funding for the carbon capture and storage project in Peterhead is just the latest example of their failure to support our energy industry. Coming off the back of inaction on the North Sea and cuts to onshore wind support, it’s clear that our energy industry is being badly let down by the UK Government.
This scheme would have created 600 jobs in the North East – and helped Scotland become a world leader in clean energy technology. That this incredible opportunity was lost thanks to a decision from a Tory chancellor we didn’t vote for is deeply depressing.
During the referendum, Labour, Tory and Lib Dem politicians lined up to tell us that the only way to protect the funding for the project was for Scotland to vote No last year. Yet again, Labour and the Lib Dems are paying the price for lining up to do the Tories’ dirty work for them.
With yet another of their pre-referendum promises falling apart, it’s time for politicians of all parties in the North East of Scotland to put their differences aside and join together as one to make clear that the UK Government’s decision to abandon this vital project is completely unacceptable – and to urge the Prime Minister to rethink his stance.
Just this week, we’ve had new figures showing the astonishing potential of Scotland’s renewable energy industry. With the right support, Scotland can lead the world on this clean, green energy – but for too long, we have been held back by Westminster governments who are either unwilling or unable to help the industry reach its full potential.
With their appalling track record in supporting our energy industry, it’s no wonder that more and more people here in the North East are quickly coming to the conclusion that Westminster is simply incapable of representing Scotland’s interests – and are continuing to put their trust in the SNP who will always put Scotland first and do everything we can to stand up for our energy sector.
by Stewart Stevenson MSP