With the two-day oil spill exercise still on their minds, a coalition of advocates for oil independence gathered this afternoon at the Ocean Gateway Receiving Center to promote their legislative agendas: speaker after speaker recalled the 1996 oil spill of the Julie N. on the Fore River and its implications.
For some, like Portland lobsterman Dick Black, he was prevented from pursuing his livelihood for almost two months because of the almost 28,000 tons of heating oil lost back in 1996. “We must break the grip of the reliance on fossil fuels to heat our homes and run our vehicles to improve our long-term economic and national security,” said Governor John Baldacci.
General Donald Edwards, (Ret.) said: “We are spending $ 1 billion dollars a day for oil in the Middle East. Some portion of that money goes to Al Queda, the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. That is immoral. We need to take care of our own.” The general served in Vietnam.
Tollef Olson, founder of Ocean Approved Seafood said that an oil spill of the magnitude the Coast guard is planning for would completely destroy his business. His company specializes in aquaculture and seafood products. “I have nothing but gratitude for the effort that the Coast Guard and other agencies have put in to training for an oil spill of national signifiance….the cheapest barrel of oil is the one we never have to drill for….”
The event was hosted by Repower Maine.