The motives of an anti windfarm campaign group are being challenged after an investigation into one of its members.
The chairwoman of local group, Stop Turbines in Cushnie (STIC), runs a business in London which works closely with multi-national oil firms.
Caroline Mary Gerrie, who has written press releases for (STIC), is a director and co-owner of Tagus, whose client list includes BP Oil Europe, Shell UK, Shell International, Enterprise Oil and Mobil.
A source said: “I find it very interesting that Ms Gerrie is campaigning against a government-backed subsidy for alternate energy while she makes her money from companies who have a vested interest in minimising the amount of alternate fuel sources out there.”
The Tagus ‘Our People’ profile on Ms Gerrie also states: “She spent many years (more years ago than she cares to remember!) as an internal consultant in the oil and gas industry.”
Part of Ms Gerrie’s Tagus profile states: “She lives in London with her partner, Dominic, and their three cats.”
This conflicts with a statement in a press release, which said: “I moved back to Scotland, the land of my birth, just over a year ago, after being away for more than 20 years.”
Letters of objection also show that other members of Ms Gerrie’s London firm have opposed the planning application via the Aberdeenshire Council website.
A senior employee in an oil and gas firm said: “In my opinion, it is unacceptable for somebody to be working with oil companies on this scale and to be actively and publicly opposed to renewable energy.’’
When asked if she believed working for oil companies while campaigning against a renewable energy source was a conflict of interest, Ms Gerrie said: “Renewable energy is justifiable only when the sole benefit can be measured against the many impacts.
‘‘Since the developer refuses to give correct information regarding either, all I can say is that for the last few years I have not been campaigning against a renewable energy source, I have been campaigning against what I believe to be a litany of lies.’’
“As for Tagus, without going into too much detail, the work we do for oil companies helps to prevent serious injury and save lives!
“I think there are too many factors involved in both renewable energy and the oil and gas industry for me to give a simple yes or no answer regarding such an important subject.”
At the beginning of August, councillors on the Marr Area Committee voted unanimously to reject an application for a single 45.9m turbine at Bogfern.
A fourth application was launched to build turbines at Blackhills, by energy firm Renewable Energy Ventures LTD, set up by former first minister Lord Nicol Stephen after retiring from political life at Holyrood.
The application will be voted on at the upcoming Marr Area Committee meeting.