By Lucy Ashton
Humza Yousaf has been accused of “giving up” on the North Sea sector after he said that Scotland will no longer be “the oil and gas capital of Europe”.
At First Minister’s Questions, Douglas Ross said the SNP has “turned sour” on Scottish oil and gas and they are now backing a cliff-edge scenario which would put jobs at risk.
The Scottish Conservative Leader said using energy on Scotland’s doorstep was better for the economy and the environment.
A recent report from Robert Gordon University warned that a rapid decline in the oil and gas sector could cost tens of thousands of skilled jobs.
Expert analysis from Wood Mackenzie has also found that new fields at Cambo and Rosebank would save 17 million tonnes of CO2, compared to using foreign imports.
Humza Yousaf has previously spoken out against the UK Government granting new North Sea licenses.
First Minister Humza Yousaf, Tory leader Douglas Ross and Deputy First Minister Shona Robison.
Despite this, Deputy First Minister Shona Robison, standing in for him, claimed: “No one is giving up on Scotland’s oil.”
Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “Tens of thousands of people work in Scotland’s North Sea Oil and Gas sector. It raises billions of pounds to support public services. It’s crucial for Scotland’s economy.
“But Humza Yousaf flew to New York, to the finance capital of the world, to say: ‘Don’t invest in our oil and gas sector.’
“The SNP slogan used to be: It’s Scotland’s oil. Now it’s: Just stop oil.
“The SNP has turned sour on Scottish oil and gas. They are backing a cliff-edge scenario where skilled jobs will be lost for good.
“Humza Yousaf’s position is reckless. The SNP are giving up on Scotland’s crucial oil and gas industry.
“It’s a slap in the face to North Sea workers. It’s naive – because we still rely on oil and gas. And it would be a hammer blow to Scotland’s economy.
“We need to transition sensibly by creating new energy jobs, not by throwing away current ones.
“It’s not just about what’s best for our economy – it’s about what’s best for our environment. Research shows that production in Scotland is cheaper, greener and protects jobs. We should use the energy on our own doorstep, instead of costly foreign imports.”