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Staying Free

By Greg Kozera - | Jun 2, 2021

As kids we loved looking at old family pictures. Our photos were black and white except for a few professional family photos. We loved photos of Christmas. Pictures of our grandparents were special since three of them were already deceased. We never knew them. The few photos and stories our parents told us were all we had.

My parents had pictures with friends before they were married. We didn’t know anyone in them except Dad and Mom. There were photos of Dad in the U.S. Marines. I didn’t fully appreciate it when he pointed out his friends killed in the war. Dad’s unit fought in the Pacific during World War II.

As a kid, those were just the faces of strangers. They were my Dad’s friends and comrades. He probably saw some die. My Dad knew he was blessed to get home alive. Memorial Day was always a special day to my Dad. We marched in the Memorial Day Parade as Scouts, always visited the cemetery and attended Memorial Day ceremonies as a family.

My Dad and I talked a lot as adults. We never talked about Dad’s experiences during the war, except for his trip to Australia and New Zealand where they went for a brief rest. I can’t imagine his thoughts when he looked at those pictures of his unit or the pictures of him having a beer with friends who didn’t come home. He shared his combat experiences with other vets. When my brother returned from Vietnam, I learned Dad shared with him. Today I know my Dad and his comrades are heroes who kept our nation free. Some gave their lives for our freedom. We honor them on Memorial Day. To all who served, THANK YOU.

Freedom isn’t free and must constantly be defended. Today our military stands between us and nations who would do us harm. They deserve our support. Besides soldiers our military requires supplies like weapons and weapon systems. They need planes, ships, tanks and other vehicles. These require fuel. Soldiers need food and uniforms.

During World War II the home front kept our soldiers in the fight. People sacrificed so our military had what it needed. Gasoline was rationed. Steel and rubber were used for military not consumer goods. The United States was fortunate to be independent from Europe and Asia for raw materials. The USA produced planes, tanks, ships and vehicles in record numbers using American resources, fueled by American oil. We out produced our enemies. We cut off their fuel supplies. My uncle marched past German tanks out of fuel on his way to Berlin. My mother, like other women were also heroes. They worked long hours in factories to support our troops.

The past is easily forgotten, for those who didn’t experience it. World War II was over 75 years ago. Many, especially in government, seem to have forgotten our military still requires dependable fuel 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Today our military also runs on plastic and petrochemicals. Plastics and petrochemicals require oil and natural gas for feedstock. We have that feedstock here in the USA. Planes, tanks, ships, all vehicles, guns, and weapons systems require plastics in their manufacture. We have the raw materials, technology and work force to manufacture them all here. For national security we need to manufacture military and products like medications, medical equipment, healthcare PPE and other essential products in the USA.

The Epoch Times reported this week about, “A three-year ban on plastics production in legislation congressional Democrats are pushing.” Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) talked about the economic damage and job losses this would cause. “Section 902 of the Clean Future Act that is being pushed through the House and Senate by Democrats right now places a three-year moratorium on new permitting for plastics manufacturing.”

This isn’t about disposable plastic bags. In addition to military, look around any home, office or hospital and see the thousands of plastic products in use. These same Democrats probably also want to expand wind, solar and electric vehicles. These are also plastics products.

The only way to expand renewables, electric vehicles and stop new plastics manufacturing is to import these and other products from China. We are already importing $500 Billion in products annually from China. As our imports increased so have Chinese green-house gas emissions.

The Chinese don’t have the oil and gas reserves we have. Shale Crescent USA alone has almost twice as much natural gas as the entire nation of China. China has a lot of coal and they are using it with 184 new coal fired power plants under construction. According to Reuters in February 2021, China put 38.4 GW of new coal-fired electric power capacity into operation in 2020. China approved construction of a further 36.9 GW of coal-fired capacity last year bringing the total under construction to 88.1 GW. It is difficult to build a 1 GW coal power plant in the USA.

Making plastics requires oil or natural gas for feedstock. China gets most of their feedstock from the Middle East, a 7,000+ mile trip with a large carbon footprint. A U.S. plastics moratorium drives more manufacturing to China creating the environmental disaster we want to avoid.

A first solution to reduce green-house gases globally is to increase U.S. manufacturing. This will also increase jobs helping the U.S. economy and can also reduce plastic waste. Shale Crescent USA is currently working with companies who see plastic waste as feedstock to be used to reduce the amount of virgin resin needed.

Those in Congress who want to take dependable energy, equipment and supplies from our military and send more manufacturing to China to destroy our environment, might use this Memorial Day to consider the sacrifices our Greatest Generation and veterans made to keep us free. We need to learn from history. Americans have a responsibility to make their voices heard to support our military and our freedom. Have a blessed Memorial Day!