As the dust begins to settle on the now resolved dispute at the Grangemouth petro-chemicals and refinery, a number of new energy policy issues are rising from the industrial ashes.
These include both economic and energy policy questions for both the UK and Scottish governments on the use of shale oil gas – which has the potential to both cut domestic energy fuel bills and to provide a major shot in the arm to business and industry by also lowering their energy costs.
Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire owner of Ineos, the Switzerland-domiciled global refining conglomerate which owns and operates the Grangemouth plant, is already urging changes in governmental policies in Holyrood and Westminster.
Saying that similar ‘cliff-hanger’ industrial disputes (such as that at Grangemouth) could be avoided in the UK in future if the government reformed labour laws. He said: “For example, you’d never get this (Grangemouth) situation in Germany.
“The UK should also cut energy taxes to make manufacturing more competitive.
“It’s very important for the UK to have a very big manufacturing base. Manufacturing needs to be encourage and putting high taxes on energy just frightens manufacturers off.”
* Scottish Energy News has asked the Scottish Energy Minister to provide a statement on its shale oil gas policy.