by Barbara Daniels
In the Southern West Virginia coal fields, miners protesting work conditions were sometimes trapped in homes boarded up and set afire. Anti-Mountain-Top-Removal and alternative energy leaders have been severely beaten and an environmental reporter was arrested simply for filming.
However, big industry often finds disinformation a more effective control method. For example, claiming it was harmless, the Dupont chemical plant in Parkersburg began releasing extremely toxic PFOA as early as 1951. Though the EPA eventually filed criminal charges, these were dropped when Dupont promised to phase out the poison over ten years. Now Dupont uses PFOS, a chemical suspected of being just as toxic.
By the 1980's, other deadly chemicals (PCBs) were freely burned, dumped into public water supplies and spread on roads in Minden. Cancer rates there have soared but state and federal agencies try to hide the problem. At one point, they even inflated the town's population figures to make the rate appear lower.
Today gas companies assert they must meet all federal environmental regulations. In truth, Fracking is exempt from every major environmental law including the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Billions of gallons of toxic, radioactive frack waste are therefore produced in WV annually with no safe disposal sites. Further, thanks to these exemptions, our notoriously complicit Dept. of Environmental Protection permits this waste on highways as a deicer while banning scientists from frack facilities.
Being mechanized and using imported labor, such companies offer few jobs. And even though the cancer rate in West Virginia is projected soon to be the highest in the nation, these multi-billion-dollar industries hire top public relations firms to convince us it's OK. They also influence university studies, silence knowledgeable doctors, install their own politicians--and write anonymous articles labelling anyone raising questions a "hysteric".
With lies and government assistance, rape-and-run corporations are destroying West Virginia mountain by mountain and aquifer by aquifer. This in turn discourages tourism, farming, retirees, entrepreneurs and alternative energy development--the engines of West Virginia”s economic future. Isn't it time to wake up?
Author - You
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