A Conference on Your Future, Held Without You
Promotional material for the June 15, 2017 regional Appalachian Storage Hub Conference promised attendees networking opportunities with key regional governmental decision makers. There has been no networking opportunity with regular citizens whose taxes pay the salaries of these key governmental decision makers.
Speakers slated to address the conference included Congressman David McKinley (R-WV) and three other state government employees, including the Deputy Secretary of the WV Department of Commerce.
The conference pre-registration information noted:
–To maximize opportunities “an open back and forth dialogue is critical;”
–“All sectors will benefit” from the storage hub;
–“All are needed to support rapid development of this regional mega project.”
–A conference goal was to “Help shape the future and establish relationships with those driving this mega project.”
One can assume that the “all” who are supposed to support the rapid development of and benefit from the Hub—Cancer Alley Two—are not the people who actually live here, since we were not invited or even able to become informed after the conference. We are obviously not wanted to take part in the oil and gas industries designs on our future.
The conference fee ranged from $495 to $2,500. It sold out and had a wait-list. A great deal of pre-registration information, from multiple sources, is and was available online to get the right kind of people to attend the conference. But, so far, we have been unable to find online information on who said what at the conference. Nor have we seen any media coverage of this event whose goal was to “help shape the future”.
Is the information being kept secret from us? Conference attendees most likely realize that the extensive underground cavern storage and mega-pipelines the Hub would require would not be a good thing for all, namely the nearby communities. Call us cynical if you like, but, thanks to previous experience, we bet that those who truly stand to profit from the Hub, at our expense, wish to hide all the details until plans, permits and greased palms are all firmly in place.
While the public is not allowed to know details about this Appalachian Storage Hub conference, we are being assured that this “mega project” would be safe and highly regulated, and would bring high paying industrial jobs back to our area which is reeling from the loss of thousands of coal, steel and chemical industry jobs.
Several glowing op-eds, as well as an editorial, have recently appeared in the Charleston Gazette Mail and the Huntington Herald Dispatch, written by enthusiastic industry backers. Any risks to our health and safety are apparently to be endured for the prospect of new jobs. Those of us who would find ourselves living in Cancer Alley Two must happily accept the risks, in order to improve the U.S. balance of trade. The Hub would allow the U.S. to export massive amounts of natural gas liquids and the chemicals derived from these liquids, as well as methane gas.
Read Part 4 here.
Want to join OVEC’s efforts on the issue of the proposed Appalachian Storage Hub? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-522-0246.