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Jun3 24, 2008

Are You Willing To Be A Witness?

Gas is expensive, and all indications are that this is just beginning. Anger, fear and frustration mount as citizens wonder how gas prices got so high. Depending who you listen to, global demand and our escalating consumption of the black gold are to blame. If you believe that then you probably believe the oil companies are not making a profit. We currently have a presidential candidate, governors and legislators taunting the solution to initiate off shore drilling, and while we are at it, let's go back to Alaska and spill some more oil there. The glaring realization that oil companies are making obscene profits is dismissed and downplayed by the media and congress that purports to inform and represent us.

It is time we, meaning you and I, get off of our collective asses and say "enough"! It is time we put our money where our mouth is and say NO to the oil companies. Alternate means of energy must be considered and implemented NOW. NO, NO and NO. NO to more ill gained profits added to over the $600,000,000,000 oil companies have pocketed in the past eight years. NO to any more off shore drilling or exploration. NO because I can report to you what I have witnessed when we say yes to the interest of the oil companies and their constituents. I am a witness to what happens when citizens believe that big money interest care anything about the effects that their money making ventures leave in their wake. I am a witness to the Exxon Valdez Prince William Sound oil spill in Alaska. I am a witness to the purposeful, perpetual unwillingness of Exxon to compensate, repair and make whole the people of Alaska affected by their tanker. It has been over twenty years and the massive amount of money spent to avoid payment of their nasty spill lingers in one court or another.

I am a witness to the ashes and remains of once prosperous fishing villages and thriving communities that are now silent, dead, gone. I am a witness to the broken lives that had livelihoods to support them and their families with no place to start again and no money to start again.

I am a witness to the millions of dollars spent in Alaska on mock juries to determine if the oil companies would win the lawsuits against them. I was on one of the mock juries. I was paid $100.00, as were many Alaskans, to tell the oil companies what they already knew - clean up your oily mess and compensate the people whose lives are forever altered by the spill. Big oil didn't listen and it is crystal clear they never had any intention of cleaning up Alaskan shores or compensating its residents. I witnessed an impotent legislature and compromised court system that allowed EXXON to leave Alaska spoiled but continue to make money from its residents.

I am a witness. I am asking you to stand up and be a witness too. Witnessing is a participatory action. It requires action by talking, walking, listening and standing. You talk to others and tell them to say no to exploration and windfall profit taxes given to oil companies. You walk to the store or wherever you can instead of drive. You listen to what your government is really saying by looking at what they are actually doing. The two variables should match. Finally you stand with the millions of other citizens of this country who are calling for gas boycotts. You boycott by writing, calling, e-mailing your legislators that drilling is unacceptable, oil companies must be taxed accordingly and criminal charges must be brought against speculators and any guilty party that is involved in higher energy cost. Witnessing is not easy but it is necessary. But if we don't, will California, New Jersey, Texas and any other shore that might have oil be the next Alaska pillage that I witnessed?

I welcome any comments, solutions and ideas that can help us be better witness. The time is now! Will you be a witness?

Comments and thoughts ... Email PatriciaStatue of Liberty

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