MEP On Isles For Energy Conference – Inquiry Would Set Record Straight

09 February 2006
Alyn Smith will be in the Western Isles this week to speak ata major EU conference on sustainable energy and the environment.

Mr Smith will tomorrow (Tuesday) address the Conference of Peripheraland Maritime Regions which is meeting in Stornoway before spendingtime on the islands with MP Angus MacNeil.

Speaking en route to Stornoway Mr Smith said

"I congratulate Stornoway and the Western Isles on hosting thisconference at this time. The Western Isles, along with theirScottish island counterparts, have a lot to teach the rest of Europeon sustainability and energy development and it is a privilege to bespeaking at this event.

"Environmental legislation and Sustainable energy, which I will bespeaking on, do not have to be in conflict. There is no reason whyenvironmental legislation should stop sustainable energy development,but it does and should enable us to decide what is appropriate.

"It is timely to have this debate on the Western Isles when, with thewind farms, energy development is high in people's minds. That isone of the reasons the SNP have called for a public inquiry into thisissue and for the Executive to develop a national energy strategy.

"The SNP are holding a Scottish energy review, why can the ScottishExecutive not do the same"

"We need a sensible and rational energy policy that removes the ideathat sustainable energy is not part of protecting our environment andensures proposals for energy developments are genuinely sustainableand suitable - instead we have the mess currently being created bythe Scottish Executive.

"Scotland has a significant role to play in the future of EU Energypolicy and I hope this conference will play a major part indemonstrating to other island or peripheral regions the potential forsustainable energy development across the EU."