1/12/05 Future Energy Needs (Scotland)

John Robertson (Glasgow, North-West) (Lab): Thank you, Mr. Amess, for allowing me the opportunity to speak. It is important that we do not have a misrepresentation of the facts, and that we stick to what is true, in order to have an informed debate rather than a slanging match between people whose names I am unsure of. But I digress.

At this point, I should declare that I am chair of the all-party nuclear energy group. Over the past few weeks, the question of nuclear build has become a major news item and been given considerable time in the media. The Scottish Affairs Committee, in deciding to hold its review of Scotland’s energy needs, looked at all forms of energy. Scotland, in particular, has been extremely fortunate in its rich abundance of oil and gas, but it is recognised that all those reserves are in decline. We are now a net importer of gas, and it is estimated that we will depend on gas imports for around 70 per cent. of our future energy needs. Those imports will be from Russia and countries in the middle east, which may be regarded as less than stable.

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