To the Editor:
I wish to express my deep admiration for the Catholic Workers who went on trial for protesting frac sand mining in Winona. Their testimony in the courtroom and the way they live their lives is a true inspiration. The owners of the protested facilities and the arresting officers all testified that the protesters were non-violent and deeply respectful.
What I would like the community to think about is this: Why is it the corporations in this country can use the law to keep the people out of their property, but we the people can’t use the law to keep the corporations out of our property, namely the air we inhale or the water we drink?
Why is it we the people can’t shut down corporate operations for an hour in peaceful protest but the corporations can shut down our operations forever – like our ability to breathe, or to protect our fragile karst aquifers or to nurture a tourism industry based on beautiful vistas and tranquillity?
We the people are made to pay the true costs of every aspect of this failed fossil fuel industry: silicosis, contaminated rivers, leaking and exploding oil tankers, leaking and exploding pipelines, depleted ground water, unsafe roads, ruined home values, democracy sold to the highest bidder and a planet fouled and plundered for future generations.
Make no mistake, fossil fuel energy is a failed policy. Leaving a wake of destruction to provide a product can not be the definition of success. If industry had to pay all true costs it would not be at all competitive with sustainable, renewable energy.
Let this country get off of fossil fuels. Let’s treat this problem like the emergency it is. With a World War II level mobilization we can do this now. We are all responsible.