IN 2014, “Project Fear” told the people of Scotland that the North Sea was about to run dry.

The campaign against Scottish independence claimed that Scotland couldn’t afford to be independent: we were too small and too poor. Today, Scotland’s natural resources are powering the UK.

The OBR forecast that tax receipts over the six-year period 2022/23 to 2027/28 will average £8.6 billion. That’s £51.6 Billion over that period.

In last year’s Autumn statement the Chancellor announced a windfall tax on North Sea revenues until 31 March 2028.

He also announced the Energy Generator Levy – a new temporary 45% levy on electricity generators.

The OBR currently also forecast that receipts from the Energy Profits Levy to be £25.9 billion between 2022-23 and 2027-28, and receipts from the Electricity Generator Levy to be £14.0 billion over the same period.

I don’t have an army of civil servants at my fingertips but with these sort of numbers we will without doubt see a drastically improved narrative when the latest GERS figures are published.

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I doubt the unionists will want to say too much about the hard numbers this year. That’s why Alba Party decided to get on the front foot with our Rishi Sunak poster campaign - to once more get people talking about just how vast the energy resources of Scotland are.

But we must not allow the Tories pretend to be a viable option to Scots that support a bright future for the North Sea. It’s an election tactic designed to isolate Keir Starmer’s Labour Party who have a job destroying, economically illiterate position on Scotland’s energy potential.

Alba Party now provide that voice to independence supporting Scots that wish to support the future of the North Sea Oil and Gas industry.

For 50 years the clarion call of “It’s Scotland’s Oil” fired the engine room of the Scottish Independence campaign.

Oil and gas have been a symbol of the vast resource base of Scotland, which help make us such a solid economic prospect as an independent state.

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It has never been the sole basis for independence - that relies on the talents of the people - but it has always been part of the case. Anyone that aims to lead the independence campaign must appreciate this basic point.

Over the last 40 years the U.K. Treasury has accumulated some £300 billion in today’s money from the North Sea.

If independent, Scotland would have it within its gift to make the required contribution to the existential crisis of global warming and to protect and preserve livelihoods of working people.

The UK Government have finally decided to back the Acorn Project. Without Scottish carbon capture neither the UK or Scotland will meet climate targets. With it we make a serious contribution not just to our own carbon reductions but to the whole of Europe’s. That is the extent of the potential.

In our huge renewables potential, which Alba Party’s Depute leader Kenny MacAskill has led the way in highlighting just how vast this bounty is for Scotland, wind energy is already our biggest and cheapest way of generating electricity and, from offshore wind alone, Scotland could soon produce five times or more our own electricity requirements. That won’t just produce billions of annual revenues from export, it’ll allow us to attract massive industry to Scotland thanks to low priced energy.

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The Scottish Government should follow Alba Party and also get on the front foot to demand that Scotland’s Energy resources are used for the betterment of our people but right now they are allowing the UK Government to take the initiative on Scotland’s Oil for the first time since the taps were turned on.

Just like those that went before, Rishi Sunak and those that come after him are set to feed like vampires off of Scotland’s Oil bounty to fund their economic folly, their illegal wars and their weapons of mass destruction. But instead of the national movement taking to the streets to protest we now have major parts of it campaigning to shut down the North Sea. No wonder he’s laughing.

It’s time for Scots to say “ It’s Scotland’s Energy” and stop Westminster’s squander of it once and for all.

Chris McEleny is General Secretary of the Alba Party.