Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Archive list of "E"- Notes newsletters

Click links below to read articles online, or try the PDF version to view or print an exact replica of the paper newsletter. 

October 2009

Major News: EPA May Do Its Job!
DEP Biologist: Agency Chief Huffmans Testimony to Congress Was Ill Informed

Thinking About Your Legacy: An Open Letter from Dr. Ken Hechler

Reflecting on EPAs Announcement
JOBS in the Coalfields, the Right Way
Families in Mingo Co. Sue Over Flooding
Asking the Highest Court in the Land to Hear Our Case
Dear Friends at OVEC
Lindytown - Threats, Dead Horses and Shattered Dreams As the Draglines Creep Ever Closer
Lindytown - From Nice Little Mountain Town to Virtual Ghost Town
EPA Moves to Block WVs Largest MTR Mining Permit
Corps Approves Controversial Permit Despite EPAs Objections
The Trail of Tears - History Is Repeating Itself in WV
Policy Efforts on Family Cemetery Protection Issues
Join the Cemetery Protection Group And Help Find Long-Term Solutions
Awareness is Where Its At
Please Pray for Webster County
Cook Family Cemeteries: Ancestors No Longer Rest In Peace Due to Mountaintop Removal Mining
Coal Slurry: New York Times Nails Clean Water Act Crimes (Many) and Punishment (None)
Victory! Public Water Lines Finally Coming to Prenter
Goodbye Patricia, Welcome Stephanie! - New Organizer Joins SSP Effort
WVU Studying Effects of Coal Slurry Injection on Health
Working to Reduce Coal Prep Plant Air Pollution
Six Southern WV Communities to Benefit from EPA Grant
Judge Thornsbury Disqualified from Presiding in Slurry Injection Case
Coal Country - the movie: Film Debuts To Packed Crowd After Concerns Almost Cancel Showing
Help End MTR and Help Coal Country Have a Party!
OVEC: Power With!
What Happens In Valleys Is As Important As What Happens On Mountain Peaks
Plundering Appalachia - The Book, Is Here!
Chemicals and Their Dangers Force People From Kanawha Valley
Clean Elections - Saving WV From Future Scandals
Why Manchin and Co. Dont Care About Health in the Coalfields
Eating For OVEC Keeps Raising $$$
Carbon Tax: Our ACES in the Hole for Real Change
Report: Global Warming Causes 300,000 Deaths A Year, Toll to Increase
Remembering Conley Branch - May It Always Be In My Heart
United Against MTR:
Red Bandanas, Dreadlocks, Clean-Cut, Old Folks and Young
TV News Fails to Cover Mountaintop Removal Well, Or At All
Nominations for OSM Chief
University Divesting of Massey Stock, Others May Follow
Toxic Legislation: Selenium at the Legislature; OVEC Appeal to EPA

For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

Winds of Change Newsletter, October 2009     See sidebar for table of contents

JOBS in the Coalfields, the Right Way

by Chris Shepherd

"You live where?" Sadly, having returned to my home state of West Virginia and settled in Mingo County, that incredulous response is what I hear most often from people when I tell them of my current whereabouts.

I can understand where theyre coming from. Growing up in West Virginia, I never thought much about where I would live as an adult.

Upon reaching adulthood, the relative lack of options here, compared to those available out of state, made my path clear. So like every single one of my childhood friends, I moved out of West Virginia to pursue opportunities that did not exist here in our mountains.

With my fancy job in a big city, I soon realized I wasnt really giving anything back. I went to the mountains of Georgia to teach school. But, the mountains of Georgia were not my mountains, not our mountains. So, I returned to West Virginia, with more questions than answers.

One burning question: What can we do to make West Virginia a livable state for all generations? I believe sustainable development is the answer to that question.

I was sold when I first learned of the JOBS Project (Just and Open Businesses that are Sustainable), for which I currently work full time in Mingo County.

Our goal is simple: Develop renewable energy projects where we need them the most right in the heart of the coalfields.

Were learning that starting renewable energy is not as simple as throwing up a few wind turbines and plugging them in.

Electricity generation is a long-term process. Weve crafted a comprehensive and viable plan for renewable energy production, one that emphasizes above all else community planning, involvement and ownership of the projects.

Studies already show that existing community owned operations create more local jobs and keep a far higher percentage of revenue in the locality, rather than in the standard corporate model seen with coal and large wind.

Were working with a renewable energy firm based right in Huntington called FRIEnergy. Weve also teamed up with the Marshall and West Virginia Universities to continue to asses potential wind power sites.

Weve forged relationships with the White Houses Council for Environmental Quality in Washington, DC, and with Windustry in Minnesota, along with others.

We recognize that even with these auspicious alliances it will still take awhile to get the operations up and running, but as a wise friend said, "Youve got to start at the beginning."

So yes, I am a prodigal son of West Virginia, but I genuinely hope and believe, that by coming back, I will play a small part in inspiring others to return and to stay. I believe that the best way to honor the mountaineer nobility of West Virginia is to protect and further develop its economic viability, not just for the realities of today, but also for a limitless future in the mountains.

OVEC is a partner in the JOBS Project. We provide funding for some JOBS staff time, JOBS-related OVEC staff time, and for JOBS expenses. Contact the JOBS Project at (304) 784-0864.


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