The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Passion for America

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted August 26, 2009

When she was asked why she decided to attend the Energy Citizens rally in Nashville, the woman in the white sweater said simply, "passion." And Tonya Jones' passion showed when she got onto the stage and explained that she is a small business owner who can't afford the provisions in the House-passed climate bill.

She wasn't alone. As the audience of 325 people listened respectfully, similar warnings were issued by speakers from the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and the American Farm Bureau. They agreed that the U.S. Senate should scrap the Waxman-Markey bill and start over.

Ann from Tennessee

The sentiment was matched at rallies in Greeley, Colo., and Elkhart, Ind. About 700-800 people attended the rally in Greeley, and an estimated 200 people were at the Elkhart event where job retention and affordable energy were key topics of conversation.

Studies show that the Waxman-Markey bill, which is expected to be debated by the U.S. Senate this fall, could eliminate 2 million jobs and increase energy costs for consumers across America. The Heritage Foundation has determined that the bill could raise gasoline costs by 58 percent. At today's prices, that could boost the cost of gasoline to about $4 a gallon.

I was an observer at the Nashville rally and was impressed by the level of knowledge and passion shared by the attendees. Young and old, they were united in their concern about the bill and what its passage could signal for America's future.

While it's good to leave a clean environment for future generations, a 65-year-old woman told me, it's more important to keep America's values intact. "I want to defeat this bill and preserve freedom and liberty for my children and grandchildren," she said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.