Saturday, 23 August 2008

Revolt in the Republican grassroots

USGS photo: Exxon Valdez oil spill, 1989
In answer to wide-spread and well-lubricated oil lobby propaganda calling for a drill-and-spill end to the "offshore blockade" (the Senate moratorium to preserve the Alaska Wildlife Refuge) comes this grassroots letter from a red state:

To the editor of the McAllen Texas Monitor:

I was deeply disappointed to read your recent editorial "Offshore Blockade" (The Freedom View, August 11). It is hard to believe that an informed journalist could espouse such outdated views. You describe solar and wind power as "wishful thinking" for "some futuristic utopia" favored solely by Democrats. Is South Carolina a futuristic utopia? Because my in-laws - who to my knowledge have not voted for a Democrat since Strom Thurmond switched parties - have a photovoltaic panel and a small wind turbine on their roof. Some months they pay no electric bill at all; the rest their bills are significantly reduced. Before my wife and I moved to the Valley, we had a solar hot water heater that supplied our needs without requiring any fossil fuel use. At times, when severe weather brought down power lines, homes with solar panels were the only ones with any power at all. Wouldn't that have been nice after Dolly? photo: Texas after hurricane Dolly
Yet here in the [Rio Grande] Valley, where the wind and sun are far stronger and more reliable than in the Carolinas, home-based wind and solar is nowhere to be seen. When we moved here a few years ago, the nearest person capable of installing such systems was in Austin. We recently learned of a new local option, who hopefully will be a big success and start to turn the energy tide down here.

A few weeks ago, as John McCain and the Republicans were beating the drum for increased oil exploration, an oil spill closed the Mississippi River for several days. Not long after that, one of the most powerful Republicans in the Senate was indicted for failing to report large gifts he received from an oil company [VECO]. Is it that difficult to connect the dots?

The way to energy independence is not finding more oil. It is finding energy other than oil. It is producing energy at home rather than waiting for some big corporation to make our energy for us. And it is not as wishful nor as futuristic as you might think.

Source: Quaker Earthcare Witness listserv
See also Wikipedia on Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and drilling controversy; Gwich'in native campaigners Jonathan Solomon, Sarah James and Norma Kassi. Oil donations to McCain. and bizarre "personal" gifts. The lobby's $3m to Republican senators, and their work as climate change deniers. VECO bribes to Sen. Stevens of Alaska and others. Our previous post on the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill.

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