GMB Scotland Welcomes ‘Sensible’ Fracking Intervention By UKOOG
GMB Scotland has today (Wednesday 10 May) welcomed a ‘sensible’ intervention by the representative body for the UK’s onshore oil and gas industry (UKOOG) to the Scottish government’s consultation on fracking.
The UKOOG response and the launch of its new website, www.gas4scotland.scot lays out economic and employment opportunities presented by fracking, bringing much needed balance to the debate over Scotland’s energy future.
The industry body’s response follows on from a recent report produced by the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Energy Policy, ‘Natural Gas in the Energy Policy of the UK and Scotland’, commissioned by GMB Scotland, which states the choice facing Scotland is ‘not one of whether to include gas in our energy mix for the foreseeable future, but where the gas will come from?’
Against the backdrop of rising fuel poverty in Scotland, GMB has been pressing the case for an honest debate about Scotland’s energy future, urging politicians to fully examine the cost, environmental and employment implications of winding-down domestic gas production.
Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary said: “The debate around fracking among Scotland’s political elite is mired in hypocrisy because as UKOOG rightly point out, we’ve been fracking the North Sea for decades and we’ve been more than happy to reap the rewards.
GMB’s own recent report shows we are increasingly dependent on imported gas and our energy consumption demands cannot be met without gas. Abandoning our gas production makes no sense and we need to be pragmatic about fracking.
The vast majority of Scottish homes are heated by gas while fuel poverty levels are on the up. Is the Scottish government suggesting people will have to rip out their gas boilers and replace them with electric heating that will increase bills three fold?
That’s just not credible and when you factor the prospect of consumers being forced to go cap in hand to countries like Russia and Qatar for their gas needs in the future then we suspect the vast majority of people in Scotland would have similar concerns.
The idea that we can affordably heat our homes, power our economy and sustain thousands of jobs without domestic gas production is just ‘pie in the sky’ politics and the main losers will be hard working Scots and the poorest in our society.
This is a sensible intervention by UKOOG that tackles the superficial demonisation of domestic gas production and lays out the economic and employment opportunities a properly regulated fracking industry could offer Scotland.”
Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077
Notes to Editors: For a copy of the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Energy Policy, ‘Natural Gas in the Energy Policy of the UK and Scotland’, commissioned by GMB Scotland, please see our previous press release of Tuesday 25 April: