GMB Scotland Tells MSPs: ‘Step Out Of The Holyrood Bubble’ And Be Honest About A Future Without Domestic Gas Production
GMB has challenged MSPs to ‘step out of the Holyrood bubble’ and be honest with the public about the reality of an energy future with domestic gas, as the Scottish Government’s consultation on fracking closed today (Wednesday 31 May).
Scotland’s trade union for gas workers submitted its report produced by the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Energy Policy, ‘Natural Gas in the Energy Policy of the UK and Scotland’, which states the choice facing the country is ‘not one of whether to include gas in our energy mix for the foreseeable future, but where the gas will come from?’
Amid rising fuel poverty, in-work poverty and dependence on energy imports, GMB has been urging politicians to explain the cost, environmental and employment implications of winding-down domestic gas production to meet lofty renewable energy targets.
According to the Scottish Government’s own ‘Energy in Scotland 2017’ report, four in every five households are dependent on gas for their primary heating fuel.
GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: “There is no getting away from the fact that Scotland needs gas to provide affordable and secure heat for around 80 per cent of our households. The question is: Where will it come from?
Gas is cheap and efficient while electricity is three times more expensive than gas. Without domestic gas we either become more dependent on imports or commit the public to higher heating bills or possibly even both.
Even if we leave aside the ethical and security concerns of relying on imported gas, ignoring the climate consequence of shipping gas around the world in order to sustain homes and industry in Scotland is frankly hypocritical.
Domestic shale gas could be produced to the highest standards of regulation and within the window of our existing international commitments, defending affordability and security of supply against the backdrop of on-going decline in North Sea output.
If we aren’t even prepared to explore the possibilities on domestic shale production then our political elite need to step out of their Holyrood bubble and be honest about how they intend to deliver an affordable, prosperous and secure energy future.”
Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.
- University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Energy Policy Report for GMB Scotland: ‘Natural Gas in the Energy Policy of the UK and Scotland’. Access at: http://www.gmbscotland.org.uk/newsroom/affordable-prosperous-energy-future-without-gas-is-pie-in-the-sky-politics
- The Scottish Government: 'Energy in Scotland 2017'. Access at: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0051/00514475.pdf