by Ron Prosek
Yes, we activists often feel that our victories are few and far between. Big Oil and Gas are swimming in money and political power. What have we got on our side?
First, we have the power of being right on our side. This isn’t being self-righteous. It just means that we are on the side – in the Movement—that is looking out for the greater, long-range welfare of the people. We want to protect people’s health and safety, the integrity of their communities, and the natural environment on which these communities depend.
Big Oil and Gas will say they serve the people by bringing them cheap fuel. But, as we know, for them, the real bottom line is the Bottom Line—maximize profits no matter what costs and harms they have to shift on to the public.
Second, given the reasoning above, I am convinced we have the people on our side—at least once they know and understand the whole picture—how their lives and the lives of their children will be affected by shale drilling, frack waste injection wells, ethane cracker plants, petrochemical plants, pipelines, compressor stations, and hamstringing green energy enterprises in Ohio like wind and solar.
How to make it work for our side? A good new beginning is to come together in New Philadelphia on March 23 for the Statewide Summit. The theme this year is “Building on Our Victories and Planning for More.” The idea is to come together, share the stories of our victories—even the little ones—and then reinvigorate our networks across the state and strategize for new and BIGGER victories. Creating a new level of SOLIDARITY in this way can really help us raise our game to a new level and clear the way for some new and bigger victories.