NOT even the Greens are advocating that all of Scotland’s oil and gas wells be immediately plugged and abandoned, although some more devious politicians continue to misrepresent this situation. Where there is debate over the UK’s future energy policies around the development of oil and gas resources – policies currently dictated in Scotland by Westminster – this debate is characterised by questions such as “how much” and “for how long”?

Following energy security concerns arising from the war in Ukraine and the UK’s current requirement for around 4% of its gas and around 7% of its oil supplies from Russia, representatives of the oil and gas industry have been quick to proclaim the need for further development and exploration. Where the oil and gas industry has not been so quick off its feet, in spite of huge companies like BP and Shell boasting green credentials and currently enjoying bumper profits, is in promoting more “environmentally friendly” exploitation of what will remain key resources long into the future.

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Oil and gas industry spokespersons pay lip-service to advocating a “just transition” for the industry and its employees but were notably silent when the UK Government effectively shelved the Acorn Project.

Irrespective of possible government funding, multinational oil and gas companies, especially those who have enjoyed a long history of substantial profits from the North Sea, could be more keenly promoting projects which during that transition exploit new concepts such as carbon capture while investing more heavily in renewable resources of the future such as tidal and wave energy.

Taking a world lead in progressing and adopting new technologies associated with a more sustainable future will not only pay off for the oil and gas companies and their investors in the medium-to-long term, but will deliver more good-quality jobs for those presently working in the industry and for many more who will gain employment in supportive manufacturing and service sectors of the economy.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

SOME time ago I made a number of suggestion to the SNP government – specifically to Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney, on 1) How to increase the production of low-cost electricity in Scotland 2) An alternative to the cancelled St Fergus CO2 gas reinjection plant. Both were quickly dismissed by Scottish civil servants, who seem to eliminate any suggestions they think the FM and Deputy FM should not hear/read.

On item 1), my suggestion was to dam or bridge a few of our hundreds of tidal sea lochs and use turbines to harness the immense tide in/tide out power that could be generated. This suggestion was immediately rejected by a civil servant.

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I wrote to Ms Sturgeon and Mr Swinney about item 2) after the CO2 reinjection project had been cancelled by HM Government. My suggestion was to use the underground voids created by coal mining after the extraction of hundreds of millions of tons of coal in the mines of Fife, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and the Lothians. To me it seemed to be worth some investigation at least.

The immediate response from the civil servants was a terse “we have our own plans” – I doubt if Ms Sturgeon or Mr Swinney ever read the letter or heard the suggestions.

We can produce electric power from sea lochs and reinject more gasses safely underground BUT THERE’S NONE SO BLIND AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE !

Roy Linton

THE article in the Sunday National shows that Roz Foyer and Len McCluskey appear to be Unionists at heart, desperately trying to revive support for the Labour party in Scotland by not opposing an independence referendum (Sarwar told to back Scotland, not the Tories, Apr 24).

They cannot see that the people of Scotland now support the SNP because it has been a competent government, getting on with the day job and improving life for the people of Scotland by implementing policies that are diverging more and more from those of the London-based parties.

With only one MP, the true plight of the Scottish branch of the Labour party in Westminster is obvious, but in Holyrood this is masked by the voting system as only two of their 22 MSPs have won their seats in first-past-the-post constituencies.

In the face of everything that has hit Scotland in recent years – austerity, Brexit, the pandemic and the devastating policies of the Tory government – the best that Labour’s Scottish branch can offer the people of Scotland is a new emblem.

Perhaps voters will not even be aware that this change is nothing more than cosmetic; although the new thistle emblem is printed on all its Scottish election material, it is still the official Labour party rose emblem that is against the names of the candidates on the ballot papers when they choose their councillors on May 5.

Is the UK Labour party a leopard trying to hide its spots in Scotland?

John Jamieson
South Queensferry