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Volume 481: debated on Wednesday 29 October 2008

7. What recent discussions he has had with representatives of the energy sector on Scotland’s future energy needs. (229810)

Meetings are currently being arranged with the energy industry. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will also be attending the oil and gas UK supply chain conference on 12 November in Aberdeen.

I am glad to hear that because obviously the oil and gas industry is important for Aberdeen and the whole economy of the north-east of Scotland. I hope that there is a long future for the industry in the North sea—[Interruption.]

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I hope that there will be a long future for the offshore oil and gas industry, which is so vital to the economy of my constituency. However, does my hon. Friend agree that it would be a mistake to base a whole economy on a very volatile resource?

My hon. Friend has a fine record of working for the oil industry in Aberdeen and for her constituents. As she rightly points out, the oil industry remains a vital industry in Scotland, but it is important that it has a stable investment and tax structure, which the UK framework currently provides. The oil fund to which the First Minister has made reference has suddenly disappeared from his press releases, and now we have the request for £1 billion regurgitated from six months ago. I think we can all draw our own conclusions.