A Common Position on the Future of Oil

In four roundtables held in California, Louisiana, Washington and Texas, 97 workers represented by the United Steelworkers and members of the Sierra Club participated in the drafting of a common position on the future of oil.

September 27, 2013

Over a fifteen-month period stretching from June 2011 to August 2012, oil refinery workers and environmentalists came together to discuss the future of oil. In four roundtables held at United Steelworkers (USW) Local offices near refinery communities in California, Louisiana, Washington and Texas, 97 people—mostly refinery workers represented by the United Steelworkers and members of local Sierra Club chapters—participated in the drafting of a common position on the future of oil.

Then participants reviewed and discussed information on how the U.S. economy currently depends on oil; how we use more oil than we produce; why improvements are needed in the safety practices of oil production and refining; and how the oil industry is a powerful political force, resulting in an unhealthy cycle of huge subsidies and lax regulation. The dialogue emphasized the importance of identifying solutions that would cut our consumption of oil, the need to rely on existing sources of domestic oil and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and the importance of protecting the jobs of American oil workers and improving the safety of American refineries.

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