OVEC Action Alert

Stand Up, Speak Out, Support: September, ASH, and Climate Crisis

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Action Alert
Supporting Organized Voices and
Empowered Communities Since 1987
Sep 4, 2019 View / Comment Online

The Fight for the Future of the Ohio River Valley
OVEC is working hard to help raise awareness about and build resistance to a massive petrochemical/plastic build-out proposed for our region called the “Appalachian Storage Hub.”

If built as envisioned by its proponents, this petrochemical corridor along the Ohio and Kanawha river valleys  would dwarf Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley.”

Beaver PA cracker plant under constructions

Shell cracker plant under construction near Beaver, PA. Photo is courtesy of Ted Auch PhD, Great Lakes Program Coordinator, FracTracker Alliance, fractracker.org/photos.

The infrackstructure related to the hub would stretch along more than 400 miles of the two rivers, reach into up to 50 counties in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky, and would include unlined underground storage caverns for volatile natural gas liquids, six major pipelines, thousands of miles of feeder pipelines, and huge polluting factories, such as cracker plants. The end products of the hub would be plastics; its feed stock would come from a jaw-dropping increase in regional fracking.

All this fracking and cracking and piping and storing would further endanger the Ohio River, already the nation’s most polluted interior river. The Ohio is the drinking water source for about five million people!

We’d see a dramatic increase in air pollution—not good in general, but even worse in an area prone to air inversions. We’d see an increase in the threat of pipeline explosions, and a new threat from the underground storage caverns. (Ask the people who live near the Bayou Corne sinkhole what could go wrong.)

The petrochemical build-out, the increased fracking to feed what would be created by the build-out, and the end-product plastics would all mean our region would see increased greenhouse gas emissions, which in and of itself should be reason enough for government to say, “No thanks, no way,” to ASH, since we are already facing a dramatic rise in deadly and extremely costly climate-related disasters. 

The movement to stop ASH and build a different future for our region is all about addressing the climate crisis.

That effort just got a big boost thanks to some really hard work by Evan Gilland, who is studying documentary film making at Ohio University. Evan interned with us this summer and produced five stand-alone videos about ASH. Check them out here and please share them. Thank you so much, Evan, for all the hard work this summer! Thanks to Ohio University for their internship program. Big thanks, too, go to Cindy Ellis for narrating the videos and to Alex Cole for supervising Evan’s internship.

News coverage of ASH helps people understand the situation, too. Here’s some recent news that includes comments by OVEC, including volunteer Mary Wildfire and staff member Dustin White:

August 14: Ohio Valley Resource: Trump Visits Shell Plastics Facility, Touts Petrochemical Future For Ohio Valley

August 12: Public News Service:Should Huge Petrochemical Project Get Federal Clean-Energy Funds?

August 3: Charleston Gazette-Mail: The Appalachian Storage Hub is mired in secrecy. Residents say they’re already worried about what they do know

July 23: West Virginia Public Radio: DOE Official Tells W.Va. Lawmakers Petrochemical Development is a Top Priority

Support This Work: Help Us Meet Our Summer Fundraising Goal
Your donations support this work, and you can help us reach our summer fundraising goal of $30,000. As of August 30, we were about $10,000 shy of that goal. Monday, September 23 is the last day of summer.

This is urgent, because over the past couple of years, and through no fault of our own, we have lost a substantial amount of funding from philanthropic foundations. Some of our long-term funders have changed the focus of their giving. Others have spent down all their funds or reduced the amounts of their grants, and we have “timed out” for other foundations. We continue to seek new sources of funding. We have no doubt that we will be able to continue this work, but we really need your help right now. Simply put, it is more important than ever that we receive support through membership renewals, new memberships, and donations.

Please donate today.

RECLAIM our Future
Remember the RECLAIM Act? It’s a piece of federal legislation that has actually advanced somewhat this year, and would bring much needed reclamation funds to hundreds of old abandoned strip mine sites in West Virginia and surrounding states, cleaning them up and allowing for locally-determined economic transition options.

WV Interfaith Power and Light (OVEC’s Robin Blakeman is on the steering committee) has been fostering a postcard campaign to advocate for this legislation for most of the past year. There are currently a couple of targets in the work to pass the RECLAIM Act. We would like you to join WVIPL’s efforts, and those of the Alliance for Appalachia, to drive calls and post cards to the offices in the coming week. 

The current important targets are:

Alex Mooney, WV-2nd: He was a co-sponsor in the last session.
Carol Miller, WV-3rd: Her predecessor (Jenkins) was a co-sponsor.

It would be great if you could make some calls this week! Here’s a script for calling their offices; you can modify it as you see fit. Find contact information for Mooney here and for Miller here

If you would like a postcard (or several) to send through the mail, contact Robin Blakeman at robin@ohvec.org.

Upcoming Events
Tonight, September 4, in Huntington: Cicada ROAR

If you are in the Huntington area tonight, come on out to a gathering of folks involved with the Huntington Green Room. The topic will be plants and OVEC organizer Alex Cole will be the discussion leader. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and takes place at Cicada Books & Coffee, 604 14th St. West, Huntington, WV.

Cicada is just down the street from our office. We are rolling our September ROAR: Restore Our Appalachian Region into this meeting, so come ROAR ya’ll. Join the event and invite your friends on Facebook, here.

September 6: Got Solar? If so, September 6 is the deadline to sign up to showcase your solar home or business as part of this year’s National Solar Tour. Details here.

September 15: Community Dialogue: Dirty Fossil Fuels in Wayne National Forest
Green Sanctuary, Keep Wayne Wild, and Ohio Sierra Club invite community members to participate in an in depth discussion about what Wayne National Forest means to them, their concerns about fossil fuel development in the forest, and their vision for a healthy forest for future generations. Trained facilitators will help guide the discussion and take notes. We will schedule future trainings and an outdoor activity based on needs and goals that come out of the discussion.Snacks will be provided. Details and registration information here.

September 19: Third Thursday Protest: Amazon Burning! Join the Women’s March West Virginia, with OVEC as a co-sponsor from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the Cabell County Courthouse (5th Avenue side), 750 5th Ave, Huntington, WV, 25701. Join the event on Facebook here, and invite your friends.

#strikewithus  #AllinforClimateAction

September 20-27: Global Climate Strike / West Virginia Climate Action Week

Marshall University Strike
Friday, September 20, 2019 • 3:00 PM
Buskirk Field 
One John Marshall Dr. 
Huntington, WV 25755

October 12: WV Environmental Council’s 30th Anniversary Meeting!

Join OVEC and other member groups at Gorman Shelter at Coonskin Park in Charleston, WV for E Council’s 30th Anniversary Picnic. Hear our 2020 legislative priorities and meet candidates for state and local office. Everyone invited!  Send questions, comments, RSVPs to info@wvecouncil.org, or click here to sign up for the annual meeting online and pay by credit card in advance. Or just sign up and bring cash or a check to the event.

Donations requested. More info here.  Also see our Facebook event page.



Link to OVEC's final letter to membersFeb 14 2022  Newsletter
Final Newsletter
OVEC's special collection libraryNov 18 2021  Hoots and Hollers
OVEC Closing Doors
Nov 4 2021  Hoots and Hollers
OVEC Co-Directors Tonya Adkins and Vivian Stockman Retiring
Oct 26 2021  Hoots and Hollers
October 27: Coal Community Workgroup Listening Session in Beckley 

The Author


Send this to a friend