………..Mossmorran is flaring again tonight.

The joys of living in Lochgelly (and Cowdenbeath) as Mossmorran, the ExxonMobil Ethylene Plant has started to flare again. Today between 1:30pm – 2:30pm, the local area was loudly reminded of their neighbour operating in the area, as the noise signaled the beginning of another flaring session.

The flaring is still continuing as I write this, and we are currently being treated to a wonderful, glowing, orange sky. Our sympathies go with the residents of South Street and Watters Crescent who will have to bear the brunt of this anti-social behaviour. I have no doubt this flaring will continue throughout the night and many local citizens will have to suffer the constant noise pollution and light pollution, until it stops.

Without a doubt, we will see a press release from Mossmorran telling how they regret this flaring action, but despite the flaring, they are really good neighbours and care about the environment, that there is no health issues, followed by how much they invest into the community.

So, how well do we know our neighbour, the large multinational that is ExxonMobil. The image ExxonMobil would like to portray to us, is that of an upright standing corporate citizen, that cares for the environment, and cares deeply for the local and global community.

So lets take a look at the environmental record of ExxonMobil (quoted sources are listed at the bottom of the page):

  • In 2003, Greenpeace listed Exxon as #1 Climate Criminal. Exxon’s alleged crimes include the sabotage of efforts to deal with climate change, the fraudulent manipulation of peer reviewed scientific studies and organizations, misleading and outright lying to the population of the USA, its government officials and the global community in general. It has also been accused of fomenting so called junk science in order to deny climate change and support the views of climate skeptics, among other actions.
  • The Political Economy Research Institute ranks ExxonMobil sixth among corporations emitting airborne pollutants in the United States. The ranking is based on the quantity (15.5 million pounds in 2005) and toxicity of the emissions. In 2005, ExxonMobil had committed less than 1% of their profits towards researching alternative energy, less than other leading oil companies.
  • Exxon Valdez oil spill: The March 24, 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill resulted in the discharge of approximately 11 million gallons of oil (240,000 barrels) into Prince William Sound, oiling 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of the remote Alaskan coastline. The State of Alaska’s Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council stated that the spill “is widely considered the number one spill worldwide in terms of damage to the environment”, but many larger spills have occurred.
  • Sakhalin-I in the Russian Far East: Scientists and environmental groups voice concern that the Sakhalin-I oil and gas project in the Russian Far East, operated by an ExxonMobil subsidiary, Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL), threatens the critically endangered western gray whale population. In February, 2009, independent scientists, convened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature issued an urgent call for a “…moratorium on all industrial activities, both maritime and terrestrial, that have the potential to disturb gray whales in summer and autumn on and near their main feeding areas” following a sharp decline in observed whales in the main feeding area in 2008, adjacent to ENL’s project area. The scientists also criticized ENL’s unwillingness to cooperate with the scientific panel process, which “certainly impedes the cause of western gray whale conservation.”
  • Funding of global warming skeptics: ExxonMobil has drawn criticism from the environmental lobby for funding organizations critical of the Kyoto Protocol and skeptical of the scientific opinion that global warming is caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
This isn’t the image of ExxonMobil portrayed in our local newspapers, and even though these issues may not seem related to Lochgelly, we have to look at the way ExxonMobil operate globally and in other local communities to gain an insight into how they may operate in our own locality.

So what other criticism have been aimed at ExxonMobil:

  • In 2003, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (agency of the US Department of the Treasury) reported that ExxonMobil engaged in illegal trade with Sudan and it, along with dozens of other companies, settled with the United States government for $50,000
  • In March 2003, James Giffen of the Mercator Corporation was indicted, accused of bribing President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan with $78 million to help ExxonMobil win a 25 percent share of the Tengiz oilfield, the third largest in the world. On April 2, 2003, former-Mobil executive J. Bryan Williams was indicted on tax charges relating to this same transaction. The case is the largest under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • ExxonMobil is the target of human rights activists for actions taken by the corporation in the Indonesian territory of Aceh. In June 2001 a lawsuit against ExxonMobil was filed in the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia under the Alien Tort Claims Act. The suit alleges that the ExxonMobil knowingly assisted human rights violations, including torture, murder and rape, by employing and providing material support to Indonesian military forces, who committed the alleged offenses during civil unrest in Aceh.
At lochgelly.org.uk we have concerns over the health issues related to Mossmorran and the disruption to peoples lives with the flaring issues, amongst other issues. We will keep you up to date of any flaring activity and we are looking to research the impact ExxonMobil has had on the quality of life for Lochgelly citizens. If anyone has any images, video, or comments they would like share about Mossmorran, we would love to share the media here for others to see.


As of publishing this article the flaring at Mossmorran has died down, this may be an end to the flaring today, or it may start up again. You can never tell with a neighbour like this

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  1. hamshank27

    January 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Are you sure it wasn’t the Shell NGL plant next door flaring this time??????


  2. admin

    January 27, 2010 at 2:42 am

    We just heard the noise and then seen the orange flare when it started to get dark, usually that’s mossmorran, but if it was Shell NGL, we apologise to mossmorran and stand corrected, if anyone can confirm who was the culprit, please let us know.


  3. Fed Up In WestWatters

    February 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Mossmorran and Shell NGL, both the same company in my book


  4. H. Curtis

    February 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    In Lochgelly, we just collectively call the two of them Mossmorran, after the name of the land they were built on. Agree with the comment above. Whichever one is flaring-up and making that constant noise, its a pain to live with! It’s difficult to sleep through it, and the longer it goes on the more stressful it becomes.


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