Here’s to the New Year
As 2015 draws to a close, many of us are inclined to reflect on the successes and challenges the year brought.
We here at OVEC want you to know that during our time of deep reflection on our work, you — our members, volunteers and supporters — are on our minds. You are the ones who make our work possible! For every success, we extend a hearty thank you!
We’ve compiled some of the year’s highlights here. If you want a more in-depth look at our 2015 work, you could review the year’s newsletters.
As we celebrate the successes, we recognize the challenges ahead.
For instance, while OVEC has been at the forefront of the movement to end mountaintop removal coal mining for nearly 20 years, our work must continue in 2016. Our persistent efforts have stopped some MTR mines altogether, slowed others down and forced mining companies to spend nearly $500 million on treating toxic mine pollution. And, as coal markets have declined, MTR mines have been shutting down faster. But Big Coal is still blowing up mountains and burying streams. Peoples’ lives and health are still being destroyed by this egregious mining method. Nearly 30 peer-reviewed health studies link MTR and coal toxins to many illnesses including cancer, heart disease, and birth defects, contributing to lower life expectancy. Sadly, none of this has made one iota of difference to most WV politicians, whose top priority continues to be “saving coal.”
As coal revenues decline, our politicians now are looking at yet another dirty fossil fuel to make up the difference. Oil and gas companies have targeted Cabell (where OVEC’s office is located), Wayne, Putnam and Lincoln counties for a land grab, for fracking — drilling down very deeply for the Rogersville Shale. Our concerns have already been validated by citizens with whom we work in north-central WV who face serious environmental and health problems; fracking for the Marcellus Shale has been underway there for several years.
With your continued investment in OVEC, we promise to push back against the power structure that gives outside corporations the “right” to pollute our water and air. Please, as you consider making year-end gifts, consider donating to OVEC. You can donate here today. Your contribution is tax-deductible.
We truly appreciate you, and thank you for making our work possible in 2015. Here’s to 2016!
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