Lots going on around here…ConocoPhillips has us (Searsport) in their sights. They want to build a big propane transfer station on Route 1…we, small business owners and concerned citizens of Searsport think it’s an insane notion. So we formed a coalition, “Thanks but no Tank” and fill our time with lawyers and “experts” while we try to figure out how a small community can hold off a company that made $11.4 BILLION in profit and $260,000/Hour in US tax subsidies in 2010. ConocoPhillips makes more in subsidies in one night than our entire town spends in a whole year.
The plus side of this battle is that we’ve been renewing friendships and gathering as a community again…we’ve hosted potluck suppers or brunches every week. We don’t all agree on everything but we are unified in our quest for balance…jobs and prosperity, clean air and water, and a chance for everyone to thrive, whether they’ve lived here all their lives or wanted to celebrate their retirement years on Penobscot Bay. It’s energizing to be at the table with so many friends discussing strategy, research, outreach and the best apples for apple pan dowdie.
To spread the message of balance, we’re writing letters and engaging in the media…sharing what we’ve learned with our neighbors and trying to look at the issue from all sides. Some of the concerned are pretty vocal and the call for rallies and protests are reaching far and wide…others of us would rather work quietly with the town officials and believe that logic and conversations are the best approach…me, I want to be a part of it all. It’s at a cost though, I’ve been spending more time learning about the propane industry than walking the beach and playing with wool, but you know what they say: “if you want to make the Gods laugh, tell them your plans…”
On a more personal note, Steven is in the Waldo County Hospital recovering from a hip replacement. So far everything about the surgery has been textbook perfect and I hope to have him home by the weekend. If you’ve been to our little town of Belfast, you’ll know why I marvel that such a big operation can be done so close to home…the whole experience does more to underline the community message…the people who camp with us are the same people who are now nursing Steve back on his feet…how cool is that?