The Fight for the Future of the Ohio River Valley
If built as envisioned by its proponents, this petrochemical corridor along the Ohio and Kanawha river valleys would dwarf Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley.”
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
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.
RECLAIM our Future
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.
If you would like a postcard (or several) to send through the mail, contact Robin Blakeman at email@example.com.
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
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.
Marshall University Strike
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.