Fight Back for Energy Independence Over Corporate Profits

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Fight Back for Energy Independence Over Corporate Profits

‘Homeland Security – No more wars over oil!’ That’s what families in communities across Pennsylvania were promised a decade ago.

‘We’ll extract natural gas from the ground, using an unconventional process called hydrofracturing, to acquire enough natural gas that the U.S. will no longer be dependent on foreign oil!’

At least that’s what we were told. No longer would we need to send our young men and women overseas to fight oil wars.

Today America is there, with over 100 years of natural gas reserves. Moreover, if our country was to also invest in energy conservation and renewables, our nation could have 200 years of reserves today.

So what happened to that promise of ‘Homeland Security’ and ‘Energy Independence’? And why aren’t we celebrating?

The Big Energy Lie

It was a lie. Not one corporate CEO or their friends in elected office ever intended to keep energy resources stockpiled for America’s future.

The evidence of this can be seen every day as the oil and gas industry pushes hard, stomps on people, intimidates and threatens landowners, steals the land and destroy our environment to build the pipelines, compressor stations and export terminals.

These pipelines crisscross our nation through old-growth forests, indigenous sacred lands and through rural communities that provide food for American families.  The export terminals jeopardize Americans shorelines and marine life all just so they can sell gas overseas and make profits for a few.

Farmers, ranchers and rural families were lied to, and in some cases called traitors or terrorists when they fought against this destructive industry. Communities and innocent families were told if they did not sell the rights to their land, the government will take it through eminent domain.

‘Our country’s national security is a public benefit which allows us to use eminent domain,’ they said. All of this was corporate and government propaganda.

What Big Oil and Gas Really Want

Today, the price of natural gas has dropped over 42 percent because of our new energy stockpile. That translates into more affordable energy for American households, but also fewer profits for the large corporations.

So what oil and gas industries want now is to build pipelines and terminals to export as much of this energy as they possibly can, to once again make huge profits. Asia has already contracted to purchase gas from the new export terminal in Cove Point, Maryland.

While industry is building export infrastructure to start selling natural gas overseas, in the U.S., families who sacrificed their land, drinking water, health and the ability to make a living off their farms and ranches are in crisis.

People can set the water from their kitchen faucets on fire because it’s polluted underground. Asthma and other childhood diseases are increasing. It’s like the nineteenth century; mothers must go outdoors with buckets to get clean water, then heat it on the stove to bathe their young children, make dinner, or brush their teeth. This is not progress.

The True Terrorists

Energy Independence? Homeland Security? I don’t think so. It is the oil and gas industry and their allies in government who are the true terrorists. Their children or grandchildren will likely never fight a war over oil, but who knows what’s in store for the rest of us.

It is time for America to stop this madness. The first step is to stop the pipelines, compressor stations and export terminals. Stand up against greedy corporations and take a risk. It’s a war on the home front against average Americans which we didn’t start, but we can win.

It is our patriotic duty to stop the corporate greed and support and defend our neighbors.

Lois Marie Gibbs

Lois Marie Gibbs is a former resident of the Love Canal community and founder of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, a project of People’s Action.

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