Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Drill Baby, Drill!" - "You need to be charged with a crime!"

Port Townsend, today. You may recall as BP CEO Tony Hayward began his opening statement before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, a woman poured what appeared to be oil on her hands and face disrupting the hearing. She yelled, in part, "you need to be charged with a crime." (It was a jar of syrup!)

She was escorted out of the hearing room by capitol police while continuing to yell that "Hayward should be charged with a crime and go to jail."

At the time, no one seemed to know who she was, and the incident quickly became overshadowed by Joe Barton's asinine comments.

One of the pleasures I derive from "doin' my blog" is the challenge of discovery. To that end, here is the same woman we saw last Thursday, in a more flattering pose.

So who is this lady?

Meet Diane Wilson, 61, a fourth-generation shrimp-boat captain from Seadrift, Texas. A mother of five, activist and co-founder of Codepink for Peace. She was featured in a PBS Series "Natural Heroes." The episode, called TEXAS GOLD, profiled her brave actions that have earned Diane Wilson the title of "An Unreasonable Woman!"

Diane first became involved in environmental issues in 1989 when she learned of neighbors' health problems, dolphin die-offs and reduced fishery catches. The Toxic Release Inventory listed Calhoun County, the rural area where she lived, led the national list for toxic emissions, from a diverse array of companies such as Alcoa Aluminum, BP Chemical, Carbon Graphite, Dow / Union Carbide, and DuPont.

Ms. Wilson became more engaged when Formosa Plastics requested a waste water permit for a major expansion in Calhoun county. Together with an affiliated non-profit, Calhoun County Resource Watch, she succeeded in pressuring the company through calls, letters, litigation, and non-violent protest to accept a zero-discharge goal, with full recycling of their waste water stream. Other companies are now following suit.

Book by Diane Wilson you may enjoy: An Unreasonable Woman: a true story of shrimpers, politicos, polluters, and the fight for Seadrift, Texas. - 2005.

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