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SNP energy policy will cost Scotland jobs

Gas is flared at Mossmorran near Cowdenbeath.
Gas is flared at Mossmorran near Cowdenbeath.

Sir, – Emperors and clothes came to mind, as they evidently did for Mr Smith, (September 28) when he saw the gas flaring at Mossmorran amid the green hullabaloo about importing shale gas to supply Grangemouth.

The irony is not only that the plant is so environmentally backward that burning off tonnes of gas and dumping tonnes of pollutants into the atmosphere for weeks on end is a standard part of its operations, but that Mossmorran will receive US ethane from shale gas via the new import terminal at Ineos Grangemouth.

Worse than the Scottish Government’s fear of offending the sensibilities of a few noisy green stuntmen, is its complete lack of an industrial policy for Scotland.

Theresa May has made it a priority for the UK, and it is clear shale gas has a major role to play as a feedstock for the petrochemical industry and as a reliable, affordable source of home-grown energy.

With North Sea oil running out, Alex Salmond’s alternative, the Saudi Arabia of renewables, has only spawned thousands of wind turbines.

Unfortunately, wind energy has proved to be a flop, raising electricity prices, blighting the landscape and costing more jobs than it creates.

Apart from that, the SNP has been reactive and negative, blaming the country’s continuing industrial decline and job losses on Westminster and the union.

How many more factories and businesses have to close before the First Minister realises her magic independence wand is broken?

Hand-in-hand with developing a grown-up industrial policy, the SNP could try prioritising environmental damage which is occurring in its own backyard over scare stories about shale gas in the US.

The government agencies, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency are starved of the power and resources to protect the environment in many instances

For 29 years, the Mossmorran plant has spewed out air, noise and light pollution.

In the frontline are communities of multiple deprivation like Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath, whose justified concerns about health impacts have been ignored.

Come to that, Friends of the Earth has been conspicuous by its absence in the areas, and issues, around Mossmorran. Are the people too poor?

Instead, agitators employed by Friends of the Earth frolick in the media and monster politicians to ban shale gas, hoping no one notices their energy policy will destroy thousands of jobs even more quickly than the SNP’s dithering.

Linda Holt.
Dreel House,


Legislate for ban on fracking

Sir, – Tuesday’s charm offensive by Ineos will have done little to win over politicians concerned about the safety of fracking.

It will have done nothing to alleviate the concerns of communities, like those around Falkirk, opposed to onshore and near-shore unconventional oil and gas development.

The inability of the ship to dock in Scotland because of high winds was a form of poetic justice that showed the magnificent wind energy potential in Scotland.

Unfortunately, as well as shale gas, the ship also brought with it a renewed and deliberate campaign for fracking to be given the go ahead.

Now is the time to be investing in clean, renewable energy, not digging for more fossil fuels.

It was reported that on one windy day last month, wind turbines covered all of our electricity needs and we already know Scotland is the undisputed world leader in tidal energy.

The Scottish Government must legislate for an outright ban on fracking because its vague moratorium policy is clearly giving hope to fossil fuel giants intent on digging up Scotland.

Mark Ruskell MSP.
Scottish Greens’ climate, energy and environment spokesperson.


Councillor right over airport

Sir, – Your correspondent (September 28)labelled Councillor Fraser Macpherson “idiotic” for raising concerns from Dundee West End constituents about the proposed expansion of Dundee Airport.

The councillor was absolutely right to question the motives behind the aims behind the proposals, or indeed where the required money will be found.

Nor is it “idiotic” to question what the civic amenity effect will be on the residents of Dundee’s West End.

They are entitled to know what approach will be taken by Dundee City Council and how much, if any, of their money it will make available. Before the airport was taken over by HIAL, some Dundee councillors appeared to be obsessed with it, and lots revenue was wasted to the detriment of other priorities.

The SNP administration seems no different. But its apparent desire to revamp Dundee Airport is without question influenced by the V&A project and the dubious forecast that millions will flock to Dundee

The project is at least three times over budget and probably on course to be the biggest white elephant ever to afflict Dundee.

Does this mean that we should stand by and allow more millions to be thrown at the airport? The flights to Stansted and Amsterdam are subsidised to the hilt. What will happen when that funding runs out? These and many other questions require straight answers.

We should be seeing more politicians, especially Dundee’s MPs and MSPs, bringing pressure to bear on councillors to reveal exactly the financial and physical implications of the plans.

Jim Shaw.
Hill Street,


Restore former King’s Theatre

Sir, – Dundee city centre has three main streets with lovely architecture, Reform Street, Commercial Street and Murraygate.

They are, however, in a sad state: empty shops with dirty windows and doorways and some outlets selling cheap wares.

This is not what the forthcoming tourists would expect to see in our city centre, given the magnificent new Waterfront area.

I know shopping malls have a purpose but wouldn’t it be nice if the classier establishments there were to locate to the aforementioned empty units and substitute the malls with nice landscaped areas?

Another missed opportunity is the King’s Theatre and adjacent ballroom. If the theatre was to be returned to its former glory, thus facilitating bigger acts which currently go to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, think of the income that would be generated.

The restaurant could be converted in the style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Pat Telford.
7 Caenlochan Road,
West Ferry,


Tories let down Scotland

Sir, – I am struck by the comments by the Prime Minister that the SNP must take its share of the blame for the Brexit vote.

These comments could hardly be more inept, given that Theresa May may want to remember that Scotland voted to remain in the European Union, while the UK as a whole voted to leave.

Indeed, while Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon put herself at the forefront of the campaign to keep the UK in the EU, Mrs May was notable by her absence.

At the Scottish Parliament, a handful of MSPs spoke out in favour of leaving the EU, not one of them from the SNP. This is in contrast to Mrs May’s Conservative Party.

In order to pacify the Conservative Party and a rampaging UKIP threat, Mrs May’s predecessor, David Cameron put party before country to deliver a referendum. While England voted to leave, Scotland, under an SNP government, voted to remain.

Alex Orr.
77 Leamington Terrace,