Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Patience Faulkner, Part 3

This is a continuation of the interview with Patience Faulkner on February 7, 2014 by Alicia Zorzetto at the offices of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council in Anchorage, Alaska. Amanda Johnson operated the video camera. In this third part of a three part interview, Patience talks about activities of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council, the need for similar advisory councils in the area impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the importance of financing, independence and representation of the councils.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2013-26-17_PT.3

Project: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: Feb 7, 2014
Narrator(s): Patience Faulkner
Interviewer(s): Alicia Zorzetto
Videographer: Amanda Johnson
Transcriber: Joan O'Leary
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
Alaska Resources Library & Information Services, Alaska State Library, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council
Alternate Transcripts
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Sections

Changes in the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council's (PWSRCAC) board activities since its founding

Development of citizen's advisory councils in Gulf of Mexico area

Need for money and independence for councils

Board representation and relationship with industry

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Transcript

PATIENCE FAULKNER: Fifteen years on the board has taught me something. We have come a long way. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: RCAC was having to react, react, react for the first 10 years.

And that's the kind of board members we had -- ones that needed to get things done and get them going.

Now we have a nice 25 years. We are mature.

We -- yes, we need to react, but we need to be proactive. And we are proactive.

And I think oil runs our state and we need to work with them. Other resources probably too, but we just need to be calm, organized, dedicated. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: And that’s what you find, so --

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh. Our focus now is on prevention. PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes. ALICIA ZORZETTO: So --

PATIENCE FAULKNER: It’s important, yeah. Yeah.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: And it would be nice if -- if there were more citizens’ councils all over the United States.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: There should be. I’m a big -- when I went to the Gulf -- ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: I pushed for it. When I -- ALICIA ZORZETTO: We’re trying.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes. ALICIA ZORZETTO: We’re trying.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: And they’re working on it. It’s a -- it’s a very difficult thing because it is expensive and it’s volunteers.

When I've been to the Lakes -- Lake Superior, I’ve talked to them because they’ve got iron ore and so, you know, it’s a slow process.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: No, I’m sorry. Were you -- I know you -- you represent the board in 1990 -- you started representing on the board in 1998.

Were you a founding member as well?

PATIENCE FAULKNER: No. No. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Did you see -- PATIENCE FAULKNER: No.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: So you didn’t see RCAC right at the beginning?

PATIENCE FAULKNER: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. ALICIA ZORZETTO: So you did? PATIENCE FAULKNER: Oh, yes, yes.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: So would you say like -- cause I know in the Gulf of Mexico they’re trying to -- PATIENCE FAULKNER: Uh-huh.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: To have something like this. Do you -- I mean I personally wonder if having a number of different states could be part of the problem as far as getting something together? PATIENCE FAULKNER: Well --

ALICIA ZORZETTO: But what would you say is the problem or the challenge?

PATIENCE FAULKNER: But each -- each -- the five states, but I say that they could have each state because it's only a part of each state -- the gulf areas.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. PATIENCE FAULKNER: That they could have a small RCAC. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: That would meet and take care of things. And then they’d have a congress of five.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: I see.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: You know, where they can get together in one, huh?

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah, and we have a neighboring RCAC. PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: As well, in Cook Inlet, so -- PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yeah.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: It's not impossible to have more than one. PATIENCE FAULKNER: Right. ALICIA ZORZETTO: In a region.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yeah, yeah and it can be handled. And the advantage of the area that, you know, that I go visit the tribes -- and I also see the mayors of the other communities in the oiled area of Louisiana.

Yes, it’s a distance. You’d have to have money for like two overnights. Like the cost of our board meetings.

And then you’d have to work with other volunteers on -- on activities.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: And you mentioned money, and I know I spoke about this with Rick Steiner as the two important keys are money and independence.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes. Yes.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: So the two -- and you would mirror that?

PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes, I would very much mirror that, yeah.

And -- and the gulf people would like it. I did bring the idea to them as to how it would work. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: And they are finding out three years later now or four years now almost, that the settlement that BP has so proudly offered to begin with and the PR is what I said it would be, you know.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. PATIENCE FAULKNER: You know, not --

ALICIA ZORZETTO: It's not as good as --

PATIENCE FAULKNER: It would be there -- it would be there, but it isn’t true.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: It doesn’t make up for the loss of -- PATIENCE FAULKNER: No, no. ALICIA ZORZETTO: -- what’s happened? PATIENCE FAULKNER: No.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Not even close. PATIENCE FAULKNER: No.

And -- and as you can see if you look to the personal lives of the RCAC board here in Cordova -- Anchorage -- Prince William Sound, wherever we are.

And you look at the people population from which they would draw for their RCAC in the Gulf, we have people that work in the oil industry. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: I mean we are a broad representative because we are citizens of the state. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: We don’t -- we’re not just a rabid crazy group. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: We’re balanced.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. Well and we essentially support the -- the travel of oil, but it just needs to be done responsibly, I guess. PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Is the --

PATIENCE FAULKNER: So it can be done and citizens can become engaged. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: It’s a -- I think RCAC has a pretty good relationship with the oil industry, as well as the regulatory industry.

Even though at times we have different opinions or approaches. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: We can do it.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much for this --

PATIENCE FAULKNER: Do you think we covered everything?

ALICIA ZORZETTO: I don’t -- I think so -- we’ve covered a lot. PATIENCE FAULKNER: We covered a lot, yeah.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Did we cover everything that you wanted to mention?

PATIENCE FAULKNER: Oh, I think so. I think so.

ALICIA ZORZETTO: Great. Thank you so much.

PATIENCE FAULKNER: You're welcome. Glad we got it over and done with.