Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Grassroots Campaign Urged to Protect Energy Industry

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Grassroots Campaign Urged to Protect Energy Industry

Article excerpt

Oklahomans should start a nationwide grassroots campaign to encourage Congress to pass legislation to protect the domestic energy industry, June Brooks, an Ardmore oil operator, told Gov. George Nigh on Friday.

Brooks made that recommendation at a strategy meeting Nigh conducted Friday with oil industry leaders, bankers and top state officials.

Nigh said he was grateful that President Ronald Reagan had met with him earlier this week, and gave his support to six proposed energy bills, including legislation to save the stripper wells.

"But where do we go from here?" Nigh asked his audience in the Capitol's Blue Room.

Brooks jumped up and said:

"We need a grassroots campaign, governor. We need to educate the people in the non-oil-producing states, so they will write to their congressmen and ask for their support on the energy bills."

Brooks has spent the past 10 years traveling across the country and haunting congressmen in their offices to tell the story of the energy industry.

She is known as the "Mad Ma'am" because of her anger at the lack of concern about the seriousness of this nation's energy plight.

"I was shocked and saddened to see the reaction of the people in Boston the other night on TV, on the nightly news, about the situation of the oil-producing states," she said.

Brooks frowned as she talked about how most Americans don't realize they could lose their freedom - if the U.S. loses its ability to produce oil and gas.

"We floated to victory in World War II on a sea of oil," she said. "Most of that oil was produced in Carter County."

Brooks, owner of LandVest Co., has been involved in the oil business in Ardmore, the county seat of Carter County, for about 30 years.

"The reason the Germans and the Japanese lost was because they had to import all of their oil or make gasoline from coal in the slave-labor camps."

The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves has only enough oil to sustain the nation for just over 200 days, if imported oil became unavailable, according to a report by the Interstate Oil Compact Commission, an Oklahoma City-based group of 34 oil-producing states. Nigh gave that report to the president this week.

"This country is fast losing its ability to produce its own oil and gas," Brooks said.

Brooks suggested that Oklahomans could ask business contacts, friends and relatives in other states to write their congressmen to urge passage of the energy legislation. …

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