The UK Government has been urged to “make good” on promises to “step up to the plate” and give a new lease of life to the north-east energy industry.
There are hopes of a sector deal to fund the transition into renewable energy sources being sealed by the end of the year.
But now SNP MSPs, councillors and Holyrood candidates from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have penned a furious letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak demanding progress.
Final proposals for the North Sea transition deal were expected to be submitted in autumn, with Oil and Gas Authority head Andy Samuel optimistic millions to fund a green recovery from the economic downturn by the end of the year.
The group – including the MSPs for Aberdeen Central, Kevin Stewart; Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, Maureen Watt; Aberdeenshire East, Gillian Martin and Banffshire and Buchan Coast Stewart Stevenson – wrote: “The energy sector is intrinsic to the success of Aberdeen, the north-east and the UK economy, but since the fall in the price of oil the industry has struggled and hardly a week passes without news of redundancies within the sector.
“In normal times, such a price drop would be of profound concern to the workforce in Aberdeen and the wider north-east but, coupled with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, these circumstances pose a severe threat to the viability of the industry and indeed the entire local economy.
“For too long the UK Government has milked the industry in the good times and then turned its back in the bad times.
“The energy sector is not a cash cow for your government, it is the livelihood of thousands of people across Aberdeen and the north-east of Scotland.
“We are yet to see a single sector specific measure of support from your government and so we urge you to honour your commitment to deliver a sector deal as soon as possible – the north-east can no longer wait.”
The leaders of the SNP groups on Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire council and the candidates running for Holyrood next year have put their name to the demands, highlighting the Scottish Government’s £62 million energy transition fund.
The Conservatives ran on a manifesto pledge to provide the huge sums of money needed to bring about the change by the end of this parliament – but that leaves four years.
With the oil downturn, coupled with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, has been described as a “perfect storm” in the north-east risking thousands of jobs.
This week, RMT Union warned the “worse is to come” in an “ongoing jobs massacre”, estimating 12,000 North Sea jobs have been shed in the last nine months alone.
The UK Government was invited to comment.