Oil Leak 67 A quote from the Port

A nice piece in the Herald on Thursday about the petition hitting 80,000 signatures and another in the National today about it hitting 90,000!

In both articles, the port’s quote was:

We believe that people have the right to protest, and it is only fair that our stakeholders are confident we look after their environment. The Port has modified its application in response to the concerns raised over the past twelve months, We fully appreciate that the environment in which we operate is extremely special, and we are legally bound to protect it.

The Port is making an application for a licence within the law. There is a due process to follow and the relevant authorities will ultimately decide whether the ship to ship oil transfer application submitted by the Port receives approval.

Well that’s good – the port believe we have a right to protest, very gracious of them. It is exactly because we are not confident that they can look after our environment that we are protesting. Again more “alternative facts” – the port has not “modified” its application – it has been told to withdraw it and submit a new one. If the port fully appreciated that the environment in which they operate was indeed extremely special they would listen to their stakeholders, to experts and to numerous NGO’s, to 90,000 people that took the time to sign a petition, 26 Community Council that don’t like their plans and recognise that this is a really bad idea.

Yes, this application is within the law – just like the global billion dollar corporations operating in the UK who pay no tax are operating within the law or using the companies that use puppies for toxicity testing is within the law  – no-one disagrees with that the application is “within the law”. But there is a difference between legal and ethical. Quite simply to undertake crude oil transfers in the middle of our most important area for bottlenose dolphins is not ethical, in fact it’s morally corrupt. The consequences of something going wrong are unimaginable – it is too high a price to pay. To propose such a plan either shows a complete lack of understanding of the environment in which they operate or a dereliction of their duty to protect the environment. There is of course no recourse for us, stakeholders, except to take them to court. That’s hard enough in itself – you may remember a couple of weeks ago we said we’d sent another legal letter to the port and the MCA. Well, yesterday (Friday) was our deadline for reply and guess what? Not so much as an acknowledgment from the CFPA. At least the MCA acknowledged receipt and took it seriously enough to put the letter under the nose of the Transport Minister before coming back and asking for an extension until February 17th. Not a thing from the CFPA – our lawyer will be chasing them on Monday.

Don’t forget the Cromarty Firth is a national asset, it belongs to us, the people and the CFPA manage it on our behalf. We, the people, once more call on the CFPA to drop this insidious plan.