>> 12 November 2010

Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stuart Pratt has called on the Tory Government in London to end their refusal to release Scotland’s fossil fuel fund monies so that it can be used to develop renewable energy projects in the North-east.

Cllr Pratt was speaking out after the defeated Tory Westminster candidate backed the Energetica Project - which local SNP councillors have been supporting through Aberdeenshire Council’s involvement – highlighting how the actions of the London Government in refusing to release the funds will hold up projects like Energetica.

Cllr Pratt said:

“Scotland’s Fossil Fuel Levy surplus now stands at £190million and is increasing. But the Tories in Westminster refuse to release those funds that would allow the Scottish Government to invest in the renewable energy industry. That industry has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs as well as providing a source of clean green energy to Europe – which Peterhead and Buchan is well-placed to do.

“It is therefore a bit rich for the Tories locally to welcome something which is being actively undermined by the actions of the Tories in London.

“The money has been sitting in the London Treasury for years gathering dust as first Labour and now the Tories refuse to hand it over. In a remarkable display of cross-sector unity, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Scottish Engineering, CBI Scotland, SCDI, STUC, RSPB, WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland and Scottish Renewables all signed a letter to the London Government requesting the release of the Scottish Fossil Fuel Levy monies in a way that can be rapidly deployed to support Scotland's renewable energy sector.

“If the local Tories have any influence at all with their London masters, which is unlikely given their poor showing at the election, they should be supporting the Scottish business community and backing release of the Fossil Fuel Fund.”

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