Alister Jack responds to ‘disgraceful’ remarks
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The Scottish government was accused of failing to understand the importance of the gas and oil industry to the UK economy after lobbying against the development. For months, Ms Sturgeon refused to be drawn on her position on the oil field.
However, after going into coalition with the Green Party, which has campaigned against the project, she made clear her opposition to the development last month.
SNP and Green MSPs celebrated when Shell pulled out of the Cambo project on Friday.
The oil and gas company said: “After comprehensive screening of the proposed Cambo development, we have concluded the economic case for investment in this project is not strong enough at this time, as well as having the potential for delays.”
Bragging at the setback for drilling the new oil field, Green MSP Patrick Harvie, who is a minister in Ms Sturgeon’s coalition government, said it was “great the Cambo project looks like it’s on the skids”.
Criticising the Scottish government’s failure to back Cambo, DUP MP Sammy Wilson accused Ms Sturgeon of being forced to cave to the Green Party’s demands.
He added: “the economic madness of the green tail wagging the SNP dog is going to cost Scotland dearly.”
“One of the ways of reducing regional inequality is to encourage investment which creates jobs, generates tax revenue and gives opportunities for supply chains,” he said speaking in the Commons.
The DUP MP said the move will cost jobs, push oil prices up and “make us more dependent upon foreign supplies”.
Responding, Treasury minister Simon Clarke said the Westminster Government had been left “disappointed” by the stance taken by the Scottish government.
He said: “He makes a very valuable point about the importance of oil and gas to the UK economy, and of course in particular to Scotland’s economy.
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“I know my colleagues on this side of the House would join him in saying it is really important that we support the North Sea oil and gas industry to be a success into the future.
“I do think the lack of support from the SNP is a serious disappointment and a serious concern.
“What I would obviously say is that the Government is committed to support a transition to net zero.”
Britain has set a target of 2050 to become net zero.
The Cambo oil field is located to the west of Shetland.
A licence for exploration of drilling was first issued in 2001 amid hope it could produce hundreds of millions of barrels of oil.
If approved to go ahead, drilling could start as early as next year and continue for 25 years.
A spokesperson for the Scottish government said: “We continue to call on the UK Government, who have the power to act in this instance, to urgently re-assess all approved oil licenses where drilling has not yet commenced against our climate commitments.”
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