Aberdeen Central SNP MSP Kevin Stewart has claimed politicians who supported amendments to a controversial piece of Westminster legislation are guilty of a “complete betrayal of oil workers across the north-east”.
Scottish Labour MPs Mark Lazarowicz and Katy Clark and Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Alan Reid all put their names behind the changes to the Infrastructure Bill, which will be debated today.
Members of Westminster’s environmental audit committee tabled an amendment calling for the removal of a section, which would enshrine in law “the objective of maximising the economic recovery of UK petroleum”.
They want it changed so the objective is “ensuring that fossil fuel emissions are limited to the carbon budgets” and that there is a new “moratorium on the hydraulic fracturing of shale gas deposits”.
Critics say the move goes against the recommendations made by Sir Ian Wood last year to support the recovery of the UK oil and gas industry.
Mr Stewart urged on the MPs to change their position.
“Recently we have had a procession of senior Labour and Lib Dem politicians coming to Aberdeen and talking up their support for the oil industry, but at the same time their own MPs are backing moves at Westminster to undermine a key recommendation of the Wood review,” he said.
“It beggars belief and is a complete betrayal of oil workers across the north-east who are fighting for their jobs due to the low oil price.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats said: “We know that the industry is facing real challenges and Liberal Democrats in government, who commissioned the Wood review, have already taken big steps to help the energy sector and protect the jobs it supports.”
Tom Greatrex, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Energy Minister said he had emphasised repeatedly that the full implementation of Sir Ian Wood’s reforms was a priority during a visit to Aberdeen with Ed Balls last week.
“Rather than playing stupid games, it is time the Edinburgh SNP put their efforts into persuading their allies in the Green Party who are trying to block implementation of the Wood review to desist from putting thousands of jobs at risk in this way.”