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HomeNewsSturgeon slammed by OWN minister for blocking UK energy lifeline during Russia...

Sturgeon slammed by OWN minister for blocking UK energy lifeline during Russia crisis

The Scottish First Minister has been hostile towards new oil and gas projects in the North Sea as part of a commitment to lower emissions to meet net zero pledges. Ms Sturgeon opposed the Cambo oil field project off the Shetland Islands, leaving developers terrified of a public backlash if they proceeded with the project. Her opposition came around the time the COP26 climate summit was being held in Glasgow.

But some have claimed this all-or-nothing stance puts Britain’s energy security at risk at a time when prices have been sent soaring by Russia during the Ukraine crisis.

A senior Government source told Politico Playbook that Britain could pump more oil and gas from the North Sea to ease the crisis.

But this plan is hindered by Ms Sturgeon’s staunch opposition.

While Britain does not rely as much as other European countries on Russia’s energy supplies, around three percent of its gas does reportedly come from Russia.

And this year, the UK is set to import more than £2billion worth of Russia’s liquified natural gas (LNG).

Net zero critics argue that Britain should focus on its own domestic supplies that could be accessed in the North Sea to slash those Russian imports and not suffer from the huge price spikes.

And Ms Sturgeon has even come under fire from members of her own party.

An SNP Minister told The Times: “What’s puzzling to many in the party and beyond — and we are out of step with public opinion on this — is when you have a domestic supply, why you wouldn’t want to use that for the benefit of people here and to stop paying for supply from elsewhere, particularly if it benefits the Russians.”

The SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, added: “Russia is financing the war in Ukraine from the receipts of fossil fuel sales. If we turn off demand from the west we bring the maximum pressure to be felt by Putin and his regime.”

This comes as former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has now threatened to launch a campaign for a referendum to challenge the Government’s climate policy.

READ MORE: Rishi turns back on PM and calls for six oil and gas fields to be fire

And Chancellor Rishi Sunak has even called on Mr Kwarteng to speed up the licensing of six proposed oil and gas projects in the North Sea.

Ministers are already said to have dished out preliminary licenses.

They include fields at Rosebank, Catcher, Mairgold, Brodick and Jackdaw sites.

Approval by the Oil and Gas Authority for another site, Tolmount East, was intended last year, but that is now expected for 2022.

The combined reserves of the six sites have 62 million tonnes of oil equivalent fuel which can reportedly power all of Britain for six months.



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