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Activists want Congress to cut ties to oil companies

by Amy Kingsley

Michele Abbott put a lot of thought into the location for a protest against rising gas prices. In the end she selected a Mobil station in Thomasville at the corner of Midway School Road and NC Highway 109.

The convenience store stopped selling gas last month. On June 28, plastic bags cinched over the nozzles fluttered in the windy wake of parking lot traffic.

‘“Every Thursday you get a delivery and every Thursday you have to pay for the last week’s delivery,’” said owner Dawn Saeed. ‘“One Thursday I just didn’t have $12,000.’”

Price fluctuations had caused her customers to cut back, decreasing her profit margin, which was already slim at three to four cents a gallon.

Only five people, most of whom belonged to the Davidson County chapter of Moveon.org, showed up to wave signs and pass out fliers. Abbot said she organized the protest because she was tired of simply being angry and frustrated. She designed fliers attacking politicians for taking money from people and political action committees affiliated with the oil industry.

‘“It’s an obvious conflict of interest between government and the people they are elected to regulate,’” Abbott said.

She said she anticipated that energy prices and policy would figure into the upcoming mid-term election. Almost everyone, she said, has been affected by high gas prices. And people are increasingly distrustful of ‘“Big Oil,’” she added. She pointed down the road to another gas station where the price per gallon spiked earlier that day.

‘“What happened in the world today that made gas change from $2.69 to $2.84?’” she asked.

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