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Labor Leader’s Oil Plans Spark Outrage In Scotland

Labor Leader’s Oil Plans Spark Outrage In Scotland

  • Labour leader Starmer said that his party would end oil and gas investment in the UK North Sea.
  • Scottish politicians called the plan a ‘job destroyer’.
  • Energy security could be at risk if the UK actually bans new upstream investment in the North Sea.
UK Parliament

In January this year, at the Davos summit, the leader of Britain’s Labour party, Keir Starmer, said that if Labour won the next elections, they would put an end to investments in oil and gas in the North Sea.

This month, Starmer reiterated the promise—or threat, as Scotland saw it. The official announcement that a future Labour government will not approve any new oil and gas licenses for the North Sea is due to be made next month.

“What we’ve said about oil and gas is that there does need to be a transition,” Starmer said back in January, as quoted by Reuters.

“Obviously it will play its part during that transition but not new investment, not new fields up in the North Sea, because we need to go towards net zero, we need to ensure that renewable energy is where we go next.”

This month, a high-ranking labour official and shadow work and pensions secretary told Sky News that the move to wind and solar would create jobs and bring energy bills down—something that new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea will not do, according to Labour.

Yet Scotland begs to differ. Right after Starmer said Labour would ban new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond dubbed Starmer the “North Sea job destroyer” and accused Labour of trying to sabotage Scotland’s energy security.

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