Allison Aldrich and Keriann Hopkins | Correspondents | Thursday, July 3, 2008
The Pray at the Pump Movement, founded by Rocky Twyman, has been holding prayer vigils at gas stations across the country. On Monday, Twyman decided to take his movement from Exxon and Shell stations straight to the steps of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., hoping to encourage the oil-rich country to raise the amount of barrels they release each day from 200,000 to 1.2 million.
Twyman, who is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, spent the afternoon outside of the embassy praying and asking passersby to sign his petition for the release of more oil, which he hopes to deliver to the Saudi oil minister.
"Our people are really suffering through this crisis," Twyman told Cybercast News Service. "We need the Saudis to release at least 1.2 [million] barrels of oil per day for about the next six months until we can get everything settled in America ... (I)f they can just do that for us, than this will help us get through this crisis."
Twyman, who prompted the first national campaign aimed at getting African Americans to become organ donors, has moved on to more active participation to lower gas prices than eliciting the help of God through prayer.
"I think we have just entered a new phase. We were in the prayerful phase, but now we're going into a more activist phase, because we feel that whole faith without works is dead," Twyman told reporters.
Prayer aside, some argue that there is very little the average consumer can do to influence gas prices. John Neurohr from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, has a different approach to managing the high gas prices.
"There is little, if anything, the average person can do to reduce gas prices generally," Neurohr told Cybercast News Service. "What they can do is reduce their personal dependence on gasoline by carpooling and utilizing public transportation."
Whether consumers decide to pray more or pump less, it is likely that the big changes will result from incremental steps towards more consumer-friendly oil policies.
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