by Jen Kastner
PERMIAN BASIN- The Green Party is finally finding a home in the Permian Basin. Local activists are coming together to form the Permian Basin Greens.
Reverend Tom Schmidt of Midland's Unitarian Universalist Church tells NewsWest 9, "The Green Party is about grassroots democracy. It's about really doing what the people want and it's about everything that speaks to our human condition. Rather than asking, 'What is best for business?', we ask, 'What is best for people?"
At its core, the Green Party is environmentally-conscious with a heavy emphasis on social justice. Schmidt says that the Basin tends to be more vocally conservative, which can make it difficult for progressives to feel like they, too, have a voice.
"I personally know people who put republican signs on their lawns but vote more democratic or progressive. So, they have a social face that differs from a personal desire. I think there's a lot more people here that are concerned with the environment and the political system and the world than what we're led to believe," Schmidt said.
These ecologically-minded men says they don't have a negative outlook on the local drilling industry. Both agree that the retrieval of oil and natural gas is essential in making the economy continue to thrive. However, they'd like to see a stronger local implementation of alternative sources of energy.
"We can have wind [energy] and oil at the same time. The current boom is going to bust. Then what?" Schmidt said.
The Permian Basin Greens will hold their first meeting January 26th from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ector County Library. Houston Green Party activist David Collins will be guest-speaking.