It’s on: Bike for Bill, AKA Pedal Power for the Planet! On May 31, Dave Weyant of San Mateo, California set out on a 4,262 mile cross-country journey across America to raise funds for the FracTracker Alliance. The funds raised through this ride will be used to pay for expenses as Bill Hughes conducts tours and gives presentations to college and high school students, showing them first-hand, or through compelling maps and imagery, the harms that accompany oil and gas development and the better energy options available now. If you’d like to donate to support Dave’s efforts, which we are calling “Bike for Bill,” please visit Dave’s Go Fund Me page.
Many of you may know that over the past few years Bill, in his retirement, has worked part time, off and on, for both OVEC and FracTracker, as funding allows.
Bill’s tours and presentations on fracking in WV continually wow people. In 2015, Bill presented information at a fracking forum at West Virginia State University. Carol Taylor-Johnson had asked OVEC to recommend someone to present at the event, and of course we recommended Bill. After the event Carol had this to say about Bill: “His display concerning the impact the shale revolution has had on specific environments and communities got a lot of attention. Russell Gold, energy reporter for the Wall Street Journal… told me personally, ‘This is the best environmental impact documentation that I’ve ever seen’.“
We frequently receive notes of appreciation about what Bill does. For instance, Beth Collins, director of Clifford M. Lewis, S.J. Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University, wrote:
Hello OVEC! I wanted to reach out and say thank you for your support of Bill Hughes’ environmental tours around Wetzel County, WV.
I recently brought a group of 12 Creighton University students to meet and learn from Bill. His powerful presentation was complimented by the informative tour he gave. I’ve been on several tours of natural-gas sites, but this was definitely the most enlightening. I appreciated his willingness to take questions from the students and to answer them in their own vernacular—understanding their limited experience with the topic of fracking, but recognizing their eagerness to learn.
Bill’s experience living and working in Wetzel County for several decades provided a unique aspect for the tour. His relationship with the community was obvious; he knew almost every household we passed by and had such great rapport with local neighbors. His blend of professional knowledge and personal passion was truly inspiring to us all.
Again, thank you for your support of these tours and of Bill’s work.
Wayne Woods, with the Doddridge County Watershed Association, wrote:
We wanted to thank OVEC for providing Bill Hughes as a fantastic source of information and education on the Marcellus Shale fields of WV.
My wife, Christina and I, along with Bill, hosted 24 people from Engage Mountain Maryland and students and faculty from Frostburg State University on a tour of the gas fields in Wetzel County.
I have received a lot of positive feedback from many of those that attended the tour. Students from FSU are creating a PowerPoint presentation of their trip to present in class this week. The education continues!
The Doddridge County Watershed Association greatly appreciates OVEC’s support to the folks in WV facing the onslaught of pollution and the decimation of our environment due to shale gas drilling.
Please let folks know that Bike for Bill is on! Again, the funds that Dave raises will be used to support Bill’s expenses accrued when he gives presentations and tours, things like lodging, mileage, and meals. (OVEC, on the other hand, will pay for Bill’s time.) Donations are tax deductible; donate here.
FracTracker aims to build a pool of money for this type of work, so that other tour leaders may eventually be funded, too. Learn more about what we are calling “Bike for Bill” here. It’s pedal power for the planet!