CHARLY KURZ
 
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Saving the Oil for America

 

Firefighters, Elk City, Oklahoma
2003 Text Peter Hossli, Photos: Charly Kurz / Lookat

They are as important as the soldiers at the front. Instead of uniforms they wear fire resistant overalls: The firefighters CUDD Pressure Control Company, who extinguish blazing oil fields for Dollars.

They are training for a defining mission in Iraq. More than 1500 oil wells might burn - with catastrophic results for the environment and the economy.

Worldwide, only 100 people are able to get the oil field fires under control. Since earlier this year, they have been negotiating highly unusual payment and security terms with the US government. "As long as bullets are still flying, we will not go in", says firefighter Ronnie Roles. He expects the US military to protect them. "The wells we fix will produce the money we earn", he adds. The oilfield firefighters earn quite a bit; around $15,000 per day. They are ready to go.

The complete text and individuals interviews by Peter Hossli are available on request.

Ronnie Roles, age 46, married, four daughters and three grandchildren. With CUDD Well Control since 1981, has extinguished 475 oil well fires. Roles is president of CUDD Well Control. "I think George W. Bush is the finest president we've ever had." he sais "He is in touch with God the Almighty. He consults with the Lord before he makes any decision." Elk City, USA 02.2003
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