June 7, 2010
While the Gulf Coast oil disaster unfolds before us, Congress is considering a bailout for the oil industry. The Senate will soon take up a resolution to undermine the Clean Air Act — the law that protects the air we breathe and the water we drink.
The "Dirty Air Act" was crafted behind closed doors with lobbyists who represent oil companies, and it would roll back decades of progress we've made to reduce air pollution from dirty fossil fuels.
As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, one of my urgent priorities is to reduce America's dependence on oil. This is something I have personal experience with when I protected the Kawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal and the Al Basra Oil Termina during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. It was there that the USS Cole-type attack took the lives of several sailors and the first Coast Guardsman to die in combat since the Vietnam War.
We spend a billion dollars a day to buy oil from abroad, and that endangers our national security. The last thing we should be doing is another giveaway to the big oil companies.
Our leaders in Washington need to know there's a better way. The time for talk and half-measures is over. The Senate is considering comprehensive legislation to invest in clean energy and help end our reliance on fossil fuels. Our leaders need to reject the Dirty Air Act. And it's time for them to support policies that will lead us to a better energy future.
Russell Otway, Veterans Energy Solutions, LLC, Opa Locka