NEWS RELEASE – Greener Scotland? Fat chance thanks to oil addict Ministers

Posted on May 29, 2012

The Scottish and UK Governments are under fire from the Scottish Greens for backing big businesses that guzzle oil and gas.

SNP First Minister Alex Salmond and Liberal Democrat Scots Secretary Michael Moore are accused of being “beholden” to firms whose love of fossil fuels threatens future energy security and damages the environment.

Today Mr Salmond is helping the oil and gas industry launch its latest strategy while Mr Moore is helping publicise Aggreko which specialises in temporary diesel and gas power units.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, said:

“At a critical time for Scotland, as we begin to debate the progressive future we could have, we see both the Scottish Government and Westminster Coalition stuck in the past. Ministers are beholden to the fossil fuels we need to move away from and are failing to challenge the big businesses involved.

“Ministers should be pursuing Scotland’s renewable energy potential with vigour, delivering new jobs and public benefits into the bargain. Instead they are patting on the back corporations that are cashing in on our addiction to oil and gas.

“How can we take seriously either of these governments’ claims about tackling climate change or energy security when they continue to pursue business as usual?

“We know the damage fossil fuels do to our environment so we should be leaving them under the seabed until we know we can safely capture and store the greenhouse gases they generate. And we know fossil fuels are running out so we should be transforming our energy system to harness our natural resources, giving public and community bodies a leading role.”

Increasing interest in drilling for oil and gas in the North Sea comes as the number of pollution incidents rises. There were 69 oil and chemical spillages in the first three months of this year, with the number of reported chemical leaks more than doubling since 2005.

The chief executive of Aggreko, Rupert Soames, recently enjoyed a £7million bonus and a pay rise that takes his annual salary to £1.39m. Mr Soames believes Scotland’s renewable energy targets are unrealistic despite studies to the contrary.