GREG Russell’s excellent article (Call for greater honesty about oil production costs, The National, August 24) exposes some of the dubious practices used by companies to create in Scotland a climate of uncertainty which was used by the Better Together campaign in the independence referendum.

It opens up the questions; are there commercially viable oil reserves in the Firth of Clyde and if so, why have they not been exploited?

The reason proffered is that Westminster was of the opinion that oil exploration and development in the Firth of Clyde would have an adverse effect on the operation of the Trident submarine fleet. If this is the case then areas that border the Firth are paying a heavy additional price for Trident.

Thomas L Inglis

REGARDING Jake Malloy’s call for more openness and transparency in oil revenue calculation, I’m afraid that no matter how open and transparent the process, it doesn’t change the basic fact that a global glut in oil reserves is driving prices down, and the bottom has yet to be reached.

Calling for more exploration and more extraction is feeding the positive feedback loop – more production adds to the glut which forces prices down, which makes more exploration and extraction even less economically feasible.

Calling for subsidies to help the industry is calling for corporate welfare.

Paul Milne

THE National repeats the claim that John Swinney has “always said oil and gas is a bonus” (The National View, August 24). While it’s true that he has always said this, his repetition does not make the claim true.

It is a strange habit of Scottish Nationalist politicians to see oil as both a large bonus with which Scotland could fund lavish projects when the price is high and, when the price is low, of huge benefit to Scottish businesses in the form of lower production costs.

Both of these can be true at the same time of course, although it doesn’t take a muckle of intelligence to see that one effect will always be larger than the other. The National is right, the British and Scottish public want honesty in the debate surrounding oil. The SNP is denying us that.

Matthew Kilcoyne
Wrexham, Clwyd

IAIN Duncan Smith has made himself the most hated politician ever to walk into parliament and he is loving every minute of it (Iain Duncan Smith considers invitation to return to Easterhouse, The National, August 24). He has mastered Thatcher’s infamous policy “if it isn’t hurting it isn’t working”.

Duncan Smith knew exactly what suffering lay ahead for the people of Easterhouse and other council estates across Britain if he ever got his hands on power. He has been planning these brutal sanctions on disabled and vulnerable people since Blair won the 1997 election.

Duncan Smith struck it lucky when he married into money and he has despised the working classes ever since. Why on earth would he accept Natalie Mc Garry’s invitation to return to Easterhouse to see the deprivation and poverty caused by his policies? He already knows the suffering he has inflicted, and anyhow a spineless Tory like him would not have the guts to show his face in Easterhouse.

David Buick

IAIN Duncan Smith’s systematic continuation of the Thatcherite experiment and its consequential punishment of poor, disabled, unemployed, underemployed and young people is not only brutal in ideological terms but is actually completely unworkable for parts of Scotland, such as East Ayrshire where I currently live. This is a region that suffered immensely under the reforms put in place by the current government’s ideological predecessor.

This is indeed true in parts of England also but a key point is that the people of Scotland entirely rejected more Tory rule. I grew up in the south east of England and it is true there are certain elements of culture in the region that embraced the Thatcherite model and everything that went with it.

However, we should be fair to acknowledge the so-called “Corbyn-mania” that has ignited a spark in places all across Britain, including the south east, among young people like myself who have known nothing other than the neoliberal agenda as embraced by most of the political establishment at Westminster, yet given their precarious living situations desire an alternative.

One key factor that makes me happy to live in Scotland now is that it is thanks to the will of Scotland and its extraordinary grassroots movement that evolved throughout the referendum campaign and beyond, this groundswell of political involvement, discussion and action has been a predecessor to people all across Britain finding the will and confidence to challenge austerity.

Oliver Martin
East Ayrshire

HAVING recently returned from Germany, where they are light years ahead of ourselves in recycling and understanding the rationale behind it, I feel it is indeed a backward step for Barrs to stop the recycling of 750ml glass soft drinks bottles (Irn Bru makers unveil new £5m plant, The National, August 20).

I feel that the Scottish Government should actually be encouraging recycling. In Germany all drinks cans and bottles for both alcoholic and soft drinks have a “pfand” or deposit charge of circa €0.25 attached to each container, which is refunded to the customer on return.

This is for both glass and plastic bottles. The plastic bottles used for soft drinks are generally much thicker and sturdier than the same-sized UK equivalent. Perhaps the relevant Scottish Governmental department can research this and gauge the benefits to Scotland?

If we increase our efforts on recycling today then perhaps tomorrow’s environment shall be better for future generations. I would implore AG Barr to think again.

Bryan O’Hanlon

SORRY Ian Larkin, your statistics on renewable energy are totally wrong (Letters, August 22). Far from being a pipe dream, Scotland already produces 50 per cent of its electricity from renewables. And the Holyrood target of 100 per cent by 2020 looks that bit more achievable. In contrast the figure for the UK is 2.2 per cent.

Holyrood’s renewables energy policy is a robust move to combat climate change (has Ian heard of it?)

Far from being dependent on the rest of the UK for energy imports, between 2000 and 2010 Scotland exported between 14 and 24 per cent of its electricity. The only thing threatening this record are the grid charges forcing the closure of Longannet and other economic decisions made by the UK Government. How can Holyrood pursue a joined-up energy policy when deprived of the power and resources to do so?

The myth that the UK Government’s energy policy is hard-headed and responsible while Holyrood’s is out of touch is information in reverse. A myth that needs to be exploded.

Pat Mackenzie
East Kilbride

RENEWABLES: the clue is in the name. By the time the wind, tide, sun and rain (hydro) have ceased to be reliable sources of power generation, we will have long ceased worrying about energy supply.

They are not the whole picture and need to be coupled with the latent storage of surplus energy such as with pumped water in hydro and other developing methods such as frozen air.

All the rest, including nuclear and fracking, are corporate-profit-driven, finite, short-term distractions. Security of supply? What could be more secure than dozens of hydro and tidal generators, hundreds of wind turbines, and thousands of photo voltaic panels, all generating as close to the points of use as possible, form a diversity of sources? Virtually impossible to be all knocked out at one time by any cause? What was that about eggs in one basket?

Whoever nuclear is right for, it is not right for Scotland. Thank you Westminster for once again flagging up another fundamental reason for Scottish independence.

Alisdair McKay