Oil Leak 18 “Oh, this is going to be a disaster”

You might have seen today’s Energy North supplement (usually available in the Inverness Courier and Ross-shire Journal and no doubt other publications). Bob Buskie has secured the whole of the front page and two full pages inside to rant about those of us “scaremonegering and making unfair claims of environmental damage”. At least the editors had the good sense to try to balance it with quotes from Cromarty Rising. No doubt the Port have blown their marketing budget on a this big poorly thought out offensive. Here’s our rebuttal of the front page.

Lets look at it, he (Mr Buskie) insists, “People jumping up and down and scaremongering and frightening the public about ‘oh, this is going to be a disaster’, without actually having all the facts, and without going through all the science, is slightly unfair.”

No Mr Buskie, what is unfair is submitting a half-arsed application, that glosses over, hide or misses the science completely. We have all the facts – a dedicated team of over twenty of us are working on every aspect of this, It is a really bad idea – not only if there’s a catastrophic incident but also through the very operation of undertaking STS in this location . Open your eyes and stop hiding behind spin. The reason we are “jumping up and down” is because you won’t listen to us, the stakeholders of the Port.

Mr Buskie say STS transfers have been taking place in the Cromarty Firth for more than 30 years. No they haven’t – they have been going on at Nigg Jetty not in the open waters of the Cromarty Firth – if I hear this again I may scream!

Mr Buskie says “the licence application was pretty straightforward……but it was seized by critics who saw this as something that was going to be new and different”.

Does this man think the general public are idiots??? We think its going to be something new and different because it is moving the process from the relative safety of Nigg Jetty to the open water, in the middle of where the bottlenose dolphins live, without any of the safety cover provided by Nigg Oil Terminal. Read the application, please, it is different.

Mr Buskie says “It seems like the minority have a very loud voice and are doing everything they can to make the minority become a majority”

No we are not a minority. When we speak to people & they get it within 30 seconds – this is a bad idea. The more people we can get to wake up to the dangers of this the better chance we have of stopping it.

Mr Buskie says “They’ve got time on their hands, they’ve got funding on their hands…..”

Where does he get that? We’ve worked tirelessly on this in our spare time , dedication it’s called – most of are professionals of some description, we have jobs, we have a lot better things to do, I can assure you Mr Buskie. Funding – we’ve had to raise every penny ourselves from donations from the very generous members of the public while the Port fritter their surplus on ridiculous plans.

“Running about scaremongering and creating a frenzy around this doesn’t really serve much purpose except shine a light on the people that are doing it”

Believe me – a more reluctant group of people to enter the limelight you have not met – this is not about us – it’s about the environment that doesn’t have a voice, the dolphins can’t speak, its a about the communities and the hundreds of local businesses that genuinely fear ruin from this proposal.

“The benefit to the wider Highland economy by doing this and making a success of this more than offsets the naysayers who don’t want it to happen”

What benefit to the wider Highland economy? Prove it! No jobs are being created as a result of this. Jobs at Nigg are in jeopardy due to this. Businesses surrounding the Moray Firth are worried about their future. The value of this project is in the region of £500,000 – the value of the firth to businesses and communities is £464million. A strange kind of economics.

Mr Buskie says “We’ve had 600 tanker movements in the firth and the dolphins seem to have been quite happy through the last 30 years”

How can anyone be that obtuse? The tankers have not been sitting on top of the dolphin feeding and breeding grounds, 24hrs a day for the last 30 years! Is this man fit to be in charge of such an important public asset? Make up your own mind.