Mossmorran campaigners challenge Exxon to pick date for public meeting

Mossmorran Action Group meeting held at Lochgelly Town Hall (Pic: George McLuskie)
Mossmorran Action Group meeting held at Lochgelly Town Hall (Pic: George McLuskie)

Mossmorran campaigners have challenged plant operators to name a date for a public meeting where the doors would be open to all.

It comes after Fife Ethylene Pant (FEP) criticised Mossmorran Action Group (MAG) for refusing to meet.

Bosses say plans to sit face to face at the petro-chemical plant fell through over a dispute about filming the gathering.

Stuart Neill, external affairs manager at FEP said three dates were offered to meet – originally alongside elected representatives from local communities – and a subsequent meeting was agreed but then declined by MAG due to their demands on filming not being met.

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MAG – a residents’ led group which set up after widespread concerns over the impact of unscheduled flaring on local communities – said Exxon “hadn’t got the first idea of how to build a relationship of real trust and respect with their neighbours.”

A spokesman said: “Exxonmobil refused to attend two public meetings and has steadfastly refused to give us a date of its choosing for a public meeting which would include regulators and politicians and be open to all.

“Exxon has never justified why they it has refused to hear directly the concerns of people in the local area at such a forum, and we can only assume it is because it does not want an open meeting at which press and public can judge its performance for themselves.

What it is having now is private meetings with selected “representatives” which exclude the press and public and which the Exxon PR machine then extracts maximum positive publicity from.”

The group said trust in Exxonmobil was “at rock bottom” and said: “PR manoeuvrings show that Exxon hasn’t got the first idea of how to build a relationship of real trust and respect with their neighbours.

“Regulators, politicians and Shell have started listening to us, but Exxonmobil thinks it doesn’t have to and that it can run roughshod over us as it has done over local communities for decades.”