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Let Americans Too Share in Oil Wealth

May 06, 2003

"Share the Wealth in Iraq" (editorial, May 2) notes that all Alaskans receive direct annual payouts -- last year $1,540 per capita -- as their share of the state's oil wealth. Great idea for them and for the Iraqis: sharing the profits from the irreplaceable natural resources of their land as the oil is removed and sold. I understand that Norway has a similar program, with set-asides for all citizens from their North Sea oil and gas.

Now how about the rest of us -- a program for all Americans to share oil, gas and coal revenues, as well as proceeds for all other mining on U.S. lands, rather than seeing the proceeds of our irreplaceable natural assets go to a wealthy few "owners" and all those transnational companies that feed off our national treasure while giving the people a tiny "trickle down" share?

Let's do it now: 25% sounds like a reasonable direct-payment share for Iraqis and Alaskans and all other Americans as well. I'm sure President Bush and Congress will jump right to it now that the idea is out. While we're at it, didn't I read that Bush plans a national health-care system for all Iraqis?

Robert W. Lovell

Huntington Beach

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