To the Editor: Environmental protection and oil prices

My friends,

Our environment will always be worth protecting. It should never be part of someone’s profit and loss projections. As a proud member of Earth First, I made this an important part of my life. We were a little crazy, and some of what we did was criminal in nature.

But when it came to our statements about the environment, we had to be absolutely accurate. The other side could and does distort and make up the facts they shove down our throats. In the ’60s and ’70s, we demonstrated how offshore drilling, even back then, would make no appreciable difference in our dependence on foreign oil. We had to use the oil companies’ own estimates and data from the Congressional Budget Office to back our claims. There is no more oil now than there was then, and our consumption has more than tripled. We showed that the possible environmental impact could be staggering. The risk was more than the gain, and the only ones to benefit would be the oil companies.

So, now we have those with the most money crying out, “Drill, baby, drill.” And so—we drilled. Gas prices did not go down. The only ones to profit were the oil companies. The environmental impact is staggering. As the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Keys stand to be damaged indefinitely, all our planet and its inhabitants receive are excuses.

I feel no pride from being proven right about how stupid risking the environment is. I can only cry for our planet. I can only repeat what we proved and shouted out before: “Don’t risk our coastal waters for the profit of a few.” We should probably be more worried about our dependence on the oil companies than where they get their oil. After all, they (the oil companies) are the ones who sell us oil, not the Arabs or anyone else. I guess it is easier to charge high prices when you can blame it on someone else.

David Kellogg


From the June 2-8, 2010 issue

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