Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin has claimed that Green Party plans to run down the North Sea oil and gas would “destroy” lives in the north-east.
Ms Martin claimed the oil downturn had left North Sea workers suicidal as she spoke of the importance of the industry to her constituents.
The SNP MSP defended the industry at Holyrood, arguing that the region relied “hugely” on the sector.
Her defence came as parliament voted on a Green motion that a policy of maximum extraction of oil and gas was “incompatible” with addressing the “climate emergency”.
MSPs rejected the motion after a fiery debate that saw north and north-east politicians stand up for the oil and gas industry.
Ms Martin said: “I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that if you turn of the taps of the oil and gas industry, you potentially destroy the north-east economy and many jobs with it. “
Challenged on her remarks by the Green MSP Andy Wightman, Ms Martin stressed the impact that the global oil crisis has had in her area.
She said: “If you had to see constituents in front of you – some of them suicidal about losing their jobs over the last three years – then I think you might take a different tone.”
She added that oil and gas had a “huge potential” to contribute to zero carbon energy.
Orkney MSP Liam McArthur argued the Greens’ “environmental machismo” was “desperate and counter-productive”.
Green MSP Mark Ruskell, who tabled the motion, said: “The SNP, Tories, Labour and Lib Dems are more concerned about propping up the unsustainable fossil fuel industry than taking the bold, urgent action that is required.”