Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament has today (Wednesday) invited the European Commissioner for Energy to come to Scotland and see for himself exciting developments in Scotland's energy sector and to learn more about the country's offshore safety standards.
The invitation to Commissioner Oettinger comes following proposals to create EU wide health and safety regulations on offshore oil and gas platforms, which has caused great concern in the industry.
"The recent proposals for EU wide health and safety regulations is noble, but if they want to find a world-class safety regime, we already have it. Commissioner Oettinger could learn a great deal from visiting Scotland.
"It is well known that Scotland has won the energy lottery. We have fossil fuels in abundance with reserves of coal, oil and gas already well explored. We have proven technologies in wind, hydro and biomass, as well as tantalising new technologies in biofuels, wave, and tidal research. Energy policy is and will remain at the top of the EU's agenda and we have much to show and tell.
"I was a member of the European Parliament's Energy Committee in the previous 2004-2009 mandate and I am delighted to be back on the Committee as of this January.
"I brought the previous Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, to Scotland in 2006. The trip allowed those in the energy sector to build contacts and boost Scotland's reputation as a major energy player in Brussels, which along with a lot of effort from stakeholders resulted in a number of Scottish projects gaining EU funding.
"I am confident that the government and industry in Scotland will put on a first class programme when the Commissioner Oettinger visits, as I hope he will soon."