I want to show my point of view as a single mother that has 3 children on how I feel about the oil pipelines and the effect that it my have on not only my family but but community as well. I want people to know how I feel about and hopefully it will make a difference. I wanted to raise the importances of how dangerous that this can be and the health hazards that it can cause.
(Setting: In the kitchen making dinner for the kids but you have a lot of things on your mind. After they eat, they get ready for bed)
My name is Kimberly Williams. Well, people call me “Kim” for short. I am 36 years old and I’m a long term resident, living in Fort Chipewyan, Canada. I’m a single woman. Have three children. Two sons and one daughter. I’m in trying to make dinner for them, and get them ready for bed, but so much is going on right now. But anyways “Am I married?” Well, no. Divorced actually. I’m more so married to the environment now, if that’s how you want to put it. The trees, the plants, the bugs, water…yeah, that’s all-important to me. “Kids come down for dinner!” (pacing back and forth shakes head) A lot of my family worked in the oil industry. My mom has worked in the oil industry for years, so it has been a big role in my family. I have always been vocal in my community and always a voice about the tar sands industry. I will always call Fort Chipewyan my home, despite of the situations. Me, well, I believe that my kids and I are being jeopardized by this. (leaning against the counter). You know, my kids love to swim in the lake near the house, but now…one of the hardest things to tell them is no because as a mother, I fear for my children, and I am afraid of what is in that water. When I was little, in 1970, there was an oil spill that only a few people knew about. As I was walking along the beaches, I saw a bird covered in oil and GUESS WHAT?? People were still swimming. I know, (acting surprised) it was mind-boggling. Now, what would you have done, if you saw birds covered in oil? Cause, I know that if I saw a bird covered in oil, I wouldn’t allow my kids to swim. The waterfront where we used to dive off the dock into the water has no water anymore. It’s bone dry. (pulls out the salt and pepper for dinner) The water levels are low and the flood lakes are not flooding. You know what my main question is (confused) “Where are the people that are responsible for this? This community is very close and everyone knows each other so if anything would happen, we would automatically know about it. We have meetings about the tar sands and we are speaking out against them. I just want the industry to take another look at this and realize that what they are doing is not right. Yeah, it’s hurting us and possibly killing us. Like I said I’m 36 years old and I want to continue to raise my kids and see them grow. (trying to hold back tears) My neighbor told me something and it was really true, now that I think about it. She said, “Everyone always thinks about the next dollar but in reality, we need to take time to develop something better than what we have.” Come on kids! Hurry so ya’ll can get into bed early for tomorrow. You can’t possibly tell me that there isn’t a better way.
(Setting: Outside cutting wood)
Hi, my name is Mike. Mike Daniels that is. I’m 45 years old, married, and have 2 kids. I live in Winsboro Texas. I am also a carpenter. As you can see, I am building this new tree house. Well, I’ve been one for years now. I fell in love with the community for its beauty and nature. Later on, I purchased the spot that I liked, and later on, got married to my beautiful wife, started building my house, and later down the line, I had my 2 wonderful kids, Mike Jr. and Melissa. I own 20 acres of land with spring fed creeks, and hardwoods. (puts wood down) Now look. It’s about to be destroyed by this stupid oil pipeline. My property now, is being threatened because they now want to run the pipelines through my grounds. MY GROUNDS! The Canadian oil company, TransCanada wants to run the Keystone XL pipeline through the heart of the community. But here’s the bad part. The pipeline carries the most dirties oil in the world and it can really harm myself, as well as my family. I don’t want them to get sick ad possibly die. “Hold up where is my wood?” (looking around for it)…oh there it is. Anyways, really, I didn’t know anything about this “project” that they were talking about doing until my next door neighbor came and told me that she had caught surveyors on my property. So I do some research about it and when I got home, I found all these stakes coming up from the ground all around my property. I was so confused. As the weeks go by, my wife told me that she had received some mail stating a request for looking at my property. I thought it was kind of to late for that being as though there were already stakes up coming out of the ground. (laughs a little) I don’t know what they were going to do. Now look, I love this place and I would die in this place. So I refused to give them the permission to make any more moves. Two months later, I received another letter from the Houston attorney saying that if we didn’t respond within a week, then they would have domain over the property and come anyhow and take me to court. But who are they to tell me what I can and cannot do? At this point, I just don’t know what to do. So I wrote them back telling them that they can come and do what needs to be done, as long as I have a 24hr notice that they are on my property. I watch them do what needs to be done and all but wait…I found out something that was very surprising. I talked to Harry Balswind from Nebraska University and he said that TransCanada did not have a presidential permit and that the EPA was not approved. So wait? I’m thinking to myself, “What was all that for then? Look, I was so mad (cuts wood really hard). Pres. Barack Obama needs to know that having these pipelines are not cool. I have a life to live and so does my family. Having them hasn’t proved anything for our best interest and neither has it created jobs for people to work. You have to treat the landowners with respect and they need to stop with all of the lies. Just tell the truth. Safety should always come first. I think I should stop now and check on my kids.
My name is Victoria Meadows. My husband and me have been living in Channelview Texas for a while now. We both are business owners of a motorcycle repair shop. Were we live, is not far from the San Jacinto River so other oil and gas companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron ship petroleum. Unfortunately, those type of companies pollute the are with toxins and most of the community is effected with the chance of having cancer. I am one that is active in my community and I am apart of a group called The Fight Against Pollution. We come together and think of ideas of trying to stop the air pollution and Channelview and make it a better place to live. (concerned)My community has struggled so much in the past 4 years and it’s our job as a community to stop the XL pipelines from coming through the grounds. In 1989, Shell oil blew up and it killed a lot of people and also polluted the air very bad. Uhh …what else happened? Oh, in the early 90’s there was an explosion. I can’t remember where it was though. Uh, Let’s see. The river flooded in 1994 but a lot of the oil companies refused to cut of their lines because of the pipelines that had exploded. So with all of that happening, you mean to tell me that you want XL PIPELINES RUNNING THROUGH OUR LAND?? Okay, I get it. You just want to hurt us even the more (getting mad) I don’t think it fair, Not only to me, but to all of the other families living here. This has to be the nastiest oil that we would be having if they still do decide to bring it to us. This is a really bad idea and they need to not follow through it. A lot of people ask me, (sarcastic voice) “Why do you live here?” It gets annoying after a while but I just say because I was born here. All of my memories were created here and I met my husband here. It will be like leaving a place where I spent my life. I don’t think it would be a good idea if I moved and let everyone suffer instead of trying to make a difference and helping my fellow peers and neighbors.