Readers' letters: Scotland needs to run its own energy

Ian Murray derides Scotland’s climate progress but doesn’t acknowledge we produce nearly all our electricity from renewables – only Norway and Iceland produce more. Ian needs to be honest - the UK is holding us back.

Scotland possesses a quarter of Europe’s wind and tidal energy resource and 10 per cent of Europe’s wave energy resource and can produce 10 times its energy needs.

The Tories, out of political spite, rejected Aberdeenshire for a carbon capture plant despite promising it in 2014.

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The UK controls tax and energy policy. Oil companies operating in the North Sea pay zero tax and 85 per cent of their tax rebates show up as a ‘deficit’ in GERS.

Meanwhile, Shell is moving its tax residency to the UK to flee Dutch taxes and carbon reduction targets. The UK will allow development of the Cambo oil field, which is why the Scottish government must use its planning powers to bar all new oil industry infrastructure, as it did when it effectively banned fracking.

The Scottish government can’t meet its target for electric cars unless the privatised National Grid upgrades the network, which is unlikely. The Grid already charges Scotland the highest transmission rates in Europe.

An independent Scotland can power a green energy revolution that will not only eliminate poverty and create good jobs but also show the rest of the world what is possible.

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The alternative is to remain stuck in a greenwashing Union that plunders our resources and charges us for the privilege.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

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Fergus talks the talk but he can’t walk

Fergus Ewing, the SNP MSP for Inverness and Nairn stood up in Holyrood during this week’s debate on road infrastructure.

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“In rural Scotland 98 per cent of our country’s land mass is rural, a car, van or tractor is a necessity, not a luxury. It will never be anything else; that will remain the case in perpetuity.

"For the majority of people in rural Scotland the car will, as far as we can see, continue to be the only method of transport.”

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I couldn’t agree more, as also is the case for the Conservatives who applauded him for saying so.

Why then did he vote against the motion which asked “That the Parliament recognises that driving in most parts of Scotland is a necessity”, going on to ask the ScotGov to reaffirm its commitment to dualling the A9 and A96 – both roads used by his constituents?

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I can let you know the answer if you don’t know it. No SNP MSP will ever vote against the party whip.

He can say what he wants in the debate but he will toe the party line and abandon his constituents and all others in the north of Scotland who just want to be able to travel safely between our two major cities here and down to the central belt.

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Sitting behind a tractor in second gear will harm the environment more than flowing traffic. And if we ever get to the stage of having less harmful vehicles, we still won’t have the infrastructure.

I can only hope that Fergus Ewing’s constituents pay more heed to his voting record than his words as they are meaningless if he does not walk the walk.

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Jane Lax, Aberlour.

Alcohol pricing

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Those calling for minimum unit alcohol prices to be increased resemble first world war generals believing that sending a few more men over the top will achieve their goals. Their policy has failed but they want more of the same. The real problem drinkers don't care what alcohol costs, but moderate drinkers on limited budgets would be penalised.

Robert Cairns, Perth.