GMB Scotland, the union for energy work, is backing the call by the Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland for an expert-led debate on Scottish nuclear and shale energy policy on moral, environmental and economic grounds.
Gary Smith, Acting Secretary, GMB Scotland, said: “GMB Scotland supports a sensible sober debate about energy, environment, safety and jobs. A debate that is rooted in the real world.
“We have high levels of fuel poverty in Scotland. Having access to gas is crucial to tackle fuel poverty because gas is four times cheaper than electricity.
“If anyone disputes the case for gas then they should put in their manifesto that they want people to turn off their gas boiler and replace it with electricity at the cost of thousands and then watch the bill to heat to their homes go up four fold.
“We need to be honest, that we have been fracking for decades for oil and gas in the North Sea.
It hasn’t resulted in earthquakes and rigs falling into the sea.
“The fact is too we are going to be a using chemicals from fracked gas. They will be imported into Scotland and those chemicals are essential to meeting the needs of everyday modern life, from clothing to food.
“We also need to face up to our environmental and moral responsibilities. Importing gas across continents and oceans, gas that has been bought from dodgy regimes in the Middle East and Russia is not morally right or good for the environment.
“We protested about Scotland playing Qatar because of the treatment of workers on the World Cup stadiums yet we are happy to buy gas from the same regime. Do we really believe labourers in the energy sector in Qatar have union rights or enjoy high levels of Health and Safety?
“There has been a lack of honesty about energy from Scottish politicians of all parties. We need energy to heat our homes and to power industry.
“It is a bitter irony that whilst there has been a frenzied debate about fracking we are losing hundreds of jobs in the steel sector due to high energy prices.”
See Scottish Energy News (29 Oct 2105): http://goo.gl/VLv1FH
Scots civil engineers call for evidence-led debate on Scottish nuclear and shale energy in face of ‘emotional’ scaremongering