It was hard to hear some of the speakers because of the constant hiss and rumble from the plant they were protesting about, and this was a quiet day. Imagine then the volume emitted when flaring and other activity at then ExxonMobil Ethylene and Natural Gas Liquids plant in Fife. Those times when the night sky is seemingly set ablaze regardless of what regulators, politicians or locals say.
Yet it has been happening so long now protests against it may soon be overtaken by a wider demand for the likes of Shell to disentangle themselves from such PR damaging, shareholder revolting, legislation coming round the corner to fight climate change inducing changes of policy. This plant has had a good kick of the ball as they say. It might be easier to thinking about booting it into the long grass.
Not that there’s any sign of that just yet, you understand. The fact that phrases including “run into the ground” are bandied about by those protesting against the site or the notion that warnings from the likes of regulators SEPA have previously failed to reassure when unplanned flaring occurs again should perhaps not be assumed as an indicator that the longevity of the plant is under question.
It just makes some wonder. Perhaps the politicians who joined around 150 protestors a week ago with Climate Camp Scotland, or the climate activists from a range of environmental groups such as Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Friends of the Earth Scotland, or the media who turned out to see and hear what was going on. If nothing else, Mossmorran is gaining more and more attention, not least in the run up to COP26 or as the conversation around a Just Transition is amplified.
ExxonMobile issued a statement to media saying they aimed to reduce emissions.
Awkward, seems an appropriate word. Judge for yourself.
Maggie Chapman MSP, Scottish Greens
SEPA dedicated page