Rebecca Long Bailey pledges to bring back the Oil and Gas Bulletin
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has said that Labour would bring back the Oil and Gas bulletin that the SNP quietly ditched after the oil boom turned to a slump.
Speaking at a trade union meeting in Glasgow yesterday, Bailey focused on the centrality of energy policy to any industrial strategy in Scotland, stating that decommissioning and renewable energy offer the high paying jobs of the future.
The North Sea oil industry has been hit hard by the efforts of the Oil Cartel OPEC to flood the market with excess supply in order to kill off fracking in America. The Scottish Government’s white paper for independence predicted oil prices remaining at highs of $110, but they have struggled to hit $80 since 2014, leading to thousands of job losses in the North Sea. Labour has insisted that large a public stake in the industry is needed to protect jobs, and make sure the rewards are shared equitably when the price does eventually recover.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, who was also on the panel, agreed, and said that the Scottish Government’s claim to possess an industrial strategy is hard to take seriously after their BiFab deal resulted in nearly the whole workforce facing redundancy. He said that we needed a “proactive” strategy, not just a reactive collection of task forces, as important as they are.
Long-Bailey MP said:
“The oil and gas bulletin provides vital information that can play a key role in ensuring jobs are protected and health and safety standards are maintained.
“Rather than playing politics with this vital industry, the SNP should be looking to support it in every way possible.
“Instead, SNP ministers have quietly ditched a key survey for the oil and gas industry because it no longer serves their ideological needs. That is unacceptable.
“The SNP government should commit to republishing the bulletin regularly – but if not, a UK Labour Government will do so.
“Our oil and gas industry has a valuable role to play in the future of our economy and Labour, both in Westminster and Holyrood, will continue to press the SNP and the Tories to give it the necessary support.”