Mike Weir MP to scrutinise Energy Bill committee

LOCAL MP Mike Weir has been appointed to the standing committee on the Energy Bill which will consider the provisions of the bill in detail and look at possible amendments.

Mr Weir, the SNP’s energy spokesman, said the Bill could have a huge impact on people throughout Angus, both in domestic energy prices and its impact on the energy industry.

He said: “The UK government has made it clear that they intend to bring forward provisions relating to electricity and gas tariffs in this bill. This may affect on the prices that all of us pay for our energy.

“We do not yet have any detail on what is proposed but the price of energy is of huge significance to everyone. Steadily rising prices are leading to increasing fuel poverty, unacceptable in an energy-rich country like Scotland.

“Future bills will be determined by how we decide to provide electricity in the future. The Chancellor has made clear he favours the provision of many new gas burning power stations, but the recent report from the Committee on Climate Change showed that in the longer terms this would be far more expensive than moving towards renewables. Gas stations that are not fitted with Carbon Capture and Storage technology would also undermine attempts to meet greenhouse gas emissions.”

Mr Weir added that while energy already forms an important part of the Angus economy, its significance is likely to increase.

He said: “The Angus economy already has a significant stake in the oil and gas industry. The new renewable industries, particularly with large offshore wind farms, will play an increasing role in the future.

“The Energy Bill proposes to sweep away the existing system of funding energy developments and introduce a completely new system based on guaranteeing the future price of electricity. It is vitally important both for the industry and the consumer that this proposed new system delivers the energy we need at a reasonable cost.”