“It was the way America is suppose to be. Now come look at it. And it’s all for oil”
Those words from rancher Donny Nelson keep echoing through my mind.
Mostly, because one way or another, said in many different accents, I’ve heard them before. I’ve heard them from people interviewed in the Gasland films. I’ve heard them from people we’ve met on the road. I’ve heard them from people hosting community screenings. I’ve heard them from people posting on our Facebook wall.
I’ve heard them from Brenda Jorgenson herself, who is featured in this film. Josh and I were fortunate enough to meet her and her family when we were in DC several weeks ago.
I liked her instantly. She’s got a warm, sweet, mid-western charm, and is also one hell of a fighter.
But when she talks about what is happening to North Dakota, you know she’s lost something she can’t get back.
The America that generations of her family built and the America she worked hard to leave for her children and grandchildren has been destroyed. And for who?
I come back to this question again and again. And I’m going to keep asking it until we truly answer it as a country.
Is Brenda’s North Dakota, her piece of America, being destroyed so I can turn on my lights and have my America here in Brooklyn?
Is John Fenton’s Wyoming, his piece of America, being destroyed so my sister can drive her car and have her America in Florida?
Is it okay to destroy Steve and Shyla Lipsky’s, Jeremiah Gee’s, Louis Meeks’, Bob and Lisa Parr’s, Mike Markham’s, Calvin Tillman’s, Scott Ely’s and countless other families in Denton and Azele, Texas, Dimock, Pennsylvania, Guy, Arkansas and Butler, Pennsylvania’s America?
The list of families and place we are sacrificing for this “new energy boom” is growing everyday. So who is it for?
For me? For you?
Or is it for the profits of oil and gas companies?
I don’t know about you, but given the choice, I choose this America. An America run on renewable energy, not destroyed land and families. I can’t say the oil and gas companies would do the same.
-Lee Ziesche, Gasland Grassroots Coordinator
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