Comment: Time to end tit-for-tat words on Mossmorran

There’s a worrying sense that the people at the heart of the debate surrounding Mossmorran are starting to dig deep into their trenches.

Friday, 21st February 2020, 5:21 pm
Fife Free Press, P1 Feb 20 2020

The gulf between Fife Ethylene Plant and Mossmorran Action Group (MAG) cannot be healthy.

This week’s statements from the ExxonMobil complex have focussed specifically on the group’s leadership with claims of scare stories and an agenda of its own.

MAG has been equally strident in its descriptions of the impact of flaring, describing children as terrified, and homing in on people’s health.

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Such polarisation does nothing to enhance to very real debate over Mossmorran’s future.

The plant has been shut now for six months – a significantly longer period of time than first envisaged when two of its three boilers malfunctioned.

Talk of an actual date to return to operation has couched in general terms.

First it was a few weeks, and then the final quarter of 2019. We are near the end of February and only now is it back in action.

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The current war of words cannot continue. It is starting to get personal and abrasive.

What has happened to the liaison group led by former MP Lesley Laird?

It was able to get people round the table and get some more detail into the public domain.

Right now, it should be a key player bringing clarity and transparency to a debate that is in danger of going round and round in circles.

Six months after being de-commissioned, Fife needs detailed answers on what the plant’s future is.

It needs MAG to be forensic in its challenges.

It needs the plant’s senior executives to start talking in much more detail.

What it doesn’t need are tit for tat digs between the two.