‘PN pledges to buy en­ergy from in­ter­con­nec­tor, the cheap­est op­tion’ – Si­mon Busut­til

Malta Independent - - NEWS - He­lena Grech

Op­po­si­tion Leader Si­mon Busut­til said that the Na­tion­al­ist Party (PN) will con­tinue to speak out about the is­sues that con­cern the peo­ple of Malta and Gozo.

He spent the ma­jor­ity of his speech at a po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in Marsaxlokk on the risks of the LNG tanker and ex­pressed his dis­ap­point­ment with au­thor­i­ties al­low­ing the tanker to be al­lowed to berth be­fore the rel­e­vant pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions took place.

“The PN pledges to buy elec­tric­ity not from the mon­u­ment of cor­rup­tion to Joseph Mus­cat – the new power sta­tion – but from the cheap­est op­tion, the in­ter­con­nec­tor. We pledge that we will place per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity on Dr Mus­cat, (No Port­fo­lio Min­is­ter) Kon­rad Mizzi and (OPM chief of staff ) Keith Schem­bri who ne­go­ti­ated the se­cret con­tract of the LNG tanker, in the event that safety and se­cu­rity is threat­ened. In the event risk re­mains an is­sue, we pledge to have the tanker re­moved from the bay of Marsaxlokk. We pledge that on the first day of a PN gov­ern­ment, we will con­tinue stud­ies and re­quests to build a gas pipe­line, so that we will re­move the tanker risk from Marsaxlokk.

“We will con­tinue to speak on be­half of the peo­ple of Birżeb­buġa and Marsaxlokk,” he said.

The Op­po­si­tion leader said that Dr Mus­cat will re­duce the price of elec­tric­ity in to­mor­row’s bud­get, and in that way peo­ple will think it is be­cause of the tanker and will start to view it as favourable.

“Who are you try­ing to fool, Prime Min­is­ter?”

“The elec­tric­ity bills could have been low­ered ages ago, and not through the long-awaited new power sta­tion, and not be­cause of the dan­ger­ous tanker, but thanks to the in­ter­con­nec­tor,” he said.

He promised that with a PN gov­ern­ment a break-water would be built in Marsaxlokk in or­der to pro­vide pro­tec­tion to the lo­cal fish­er­men and cre­ate a safer en­vi­ron­ment for the res­i­dents of the area.

Dr Busut­til then spoke of the value of homes in Marsaxlokk, say­ing that these are the con­cerns he hears from peo­ple of the area.

Dr Busut­til de­bunked Dr Mizzi’s claims that the tanker will be re­duc­ing pol­lu­tion. It is the in­ter­con­nec­tor that does not pro­duce any pol­lu­tion, he said. The three op­tions were: a lot of pol­lu­tion from the power sta­tion, a lit­tle pol­lu­tion from the tanker, and no pol­lu­tion from the in­ter­con­nec­tor – there­fore it is the last op­tion that makes the most sense.

He said that the gov­ern­ment is work­ing back­wards, buy­ing elec­tric­ity from the new power sta­tion at a more ex­pen­sive rate than the in­ter­con­nec­tor.

Dr Busut­til said that one can­not re­frain from speak­ing of cor­rup­tion when de­ci­sions taken make no sense.

“Is there a risk, or not, from the LNG tanker? I stood up in par­lia­ment and asked the Prime Min­is­ter if he will be mak­ing a state­ment on the tanker. I asked the Prime Min­is­ter about why he did not pub­lish the safety re­ports, if there is no risk.

“Dr Mus­cat said that I am not cor­rect for ask­ing the ques­tions that I did, but what use is an op­po­si­tion if I do not raise these ques­tions? We will con­tinue to speak about the con­cerns on peo­ple’s minds.”

Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat was con­cerned that gas cylin­ders sta­tioned at the Cafè Premier would have caused con­sid­er­able dam­age to the Na­tional Li­brary if they ex­ploded. So how much should we all be con­cerned with the LNG tanker in Marsaxlokk, Dr Busut­til said.

The gov­ern­ment is work­ing back­wards, buy­ing elec­tric­ity from the new power sta­tion at a more ex­pen­sive rate than the in­ter­con­nec­tor

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