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Tom Greatrex MP, Scottish Labour's Shadow Energy Minister, commenting on Ofgem’s decision to ban Scottish Power from proactive sales for 12 days because of their failure to clear a backlog of customer complaints, said:

"It is right that energy companies are held to account for poor customer service in Scotland. Companies must know that if they fail to treat their customers properly there will be a heavy price to pay.

 

“Ultimately, the only way to restore trust in the energy market is with Labour’s better plan to freeze prices until 2017, so that bills can fall but not rise, reform the energy market, and create a tough new regulator with new powers, including the power to strip energy companies of their licences if they repeatedly break the rules.”

 

Ends

 

Notes to Editors

 

Ofgem’s decision can be found here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/scottishpower-accepts-sales-ban-after-failing-ofgem%E2%80%99s-customer-service-target

 

For further information: 020 7219 8974

Tom Greatrex comments on Ofgem's decision to ban Scottish Power from proactive sales for 12 days

  Tom Greatrex MP, Scottish Labour's Shadow Energy Minister, commenting on Ofgem’s decision to ban Scottish Power from proactive sales for 12 days because of their failure to clear a...

Tom_head_and_shoulder_shot.jpg

Tom Greatrex MP, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Energy Minister and MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, commenting on news that the Government will not issue new licenses for onshore oil and gas extraction in Scotland, said:

 

“After months of pressure, the Government have finally given way to Scottish Labour’s demands that it respect the findings of the Smith Commission and suspend any new fracking licenses in Scotland. Only last month, the Government voted against a Scottish Labour amendment to devolve licensing to Scotland – now they have U-turned and given way to Scottish Labour’s demands.

 

“Today’s news follows an earlier victory for Scottish Labour in which it ensured that changes to underground mineral access rights will only be made by Scottish Ministers, effectively devolving the responsibility in line with the all party Smith Agreement.

 

“Control over fracking in Scotland is already devolved to the Scottish Government thanks to their control of the planning and permitting regimes, although the SNP spent much of the past year trying to deny that responsibility. The additional devolution of licensing and mineral access rights simply brings coherence and clarity for the public about where exactly responsibility lies.

 

“In Scotland, Jim Murphy has also set out the triple-lock system to stop fracking. Under a Scottish Labour Government, there would be no fracking without a local referendum, until the lessons are learned from the rest of the UK and until there has been a comprehensive review of baseline conditions. These are concrete measures that introduce much tighter controls on shale gas activity than the SNP’s temporary moratorium.

 

“While eight out of 10 homes still rely on gas for heating, shale gas may have a role to play in displacing some of the gas we currently import and improving our energy security. But that potential benefit cannot come at the expense of robust environmental protections or our climate change commitments.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

 

Today’s announcement means that the 14th licensing round will no longer cover Scotland. A map of areas previously covered is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/337169/SEA_Licence_Prospect_On.pdf

 

Labour’s amendment to devolve licensing immediately was tabled to the Infrastructure Bill (NC2): http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2014-2015/0154/amend/pbc1542601m.pdf

 

Tory Minister Matt Hancock told the Scotsman today: “We agree in principle to their request that no new licences be awarded in Scotland as part of the 14th licensing round, and will consult with companies who have already applied before making a final decision.” http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/no-scots-fracking-licences-until-powers-devolved-1-3702337

Tom Greatrex Comments on Fracking Decision on Behalf of Scottish Labour

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Photo: Tom on a visit to Bibby Offshore in Aberdeen last week, hearing about experiences in the oil and gas supply chain

Tom Greatrex MP, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Energy Minister and MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, commenting on the OGA’s “call to action” in the North Sea, said:

 

“Today’s report from the new OGA rightly highlights the need for urgent action to protect jobs and investment, from Government and from industry. The Government must ensure that the fiscal framework is appropriate for North Sea oil and investment in what is a mostly mature basin.

 

“But the call to action from the OGA also makes the case that industry must step up to the plate. As I have long argued, the industry work much more collaboratively if the UKCS is to have a sustainable future. For that reason it is also vital that the crucial reforms recommended in Sir Ian Wood’s review of economic recovery in the North Sea, which were pressing even before the oil price crisis, are now implemented as a matter of urgency, and companies operating in the North Sea take that challenge seriously themselves. A collaborative approach which does not compromise safety can only be delivered by operators properly engaging.”

 

“Today’s report underlines just how serious the situation is for the oil industry in the North Sea. It is vital to the Scottish economy and nobody can now doubt it needs support.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

 

The OGA publication can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/406680/Call_to_Action_-_The_OGA_Commission_2015.pdf

 

 

Tom Greatrex MP responds to OGA call to action

  Photo: Tom on a visit to Bibby Offshore in Aberdeen last week, hearing about experiences in the oil and gas supply chain

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