WV doesn't need fracking industries

In a recent column, lobbyist Rebecca McPhail insists that growing a fracking-based plastics industry here is a national priority. It's titled "WV must embrace petrochemical potential."

Must we?

In 2014 a chemical spill on the Elk River cost businesses $61 million, left 300,000 residents without drinkable tap water and halted nearly a fourth of the area's economic activity. Friends of mine took their babies and left their beloved state permanently.

McPhail's "Appalachian petrochemical renaissance" has the potential to create a water disaster affecting 5 million Americans who rely on the Ohio River for drinking water.

Shale gas fracturing - originally touted as a "bridge" to solar and other sustainable energy sources - has been rebranded by McPhail and cohorts as a plastics source. In addition to large-diameter pipeline construction, ethane "cracker" plants and underground caverns storing volatile compounds are now part of the proposed build-out. The number of permanent jobs is iffy, but the project will surely keep out-of-state and foreign stockholders super-wealthy.

What could possibly go wrong? This is something the fossil fuel cheerleaders (who have so many elected officials and government appointees in their grip) don't want you to worry yourself about. McPhail simply has "faith in the brilliant minds across the world who can devise solutions" to the resulting pollution, and contends that "the benefits of growing our petrochemical industry far outweigh concerns."

Look to other "renaissance" areas where McPhail's vision was embraced to see what you and your neighbors could wake up to one day. Search YouTube for "Pipeline Explosion," "Louisiana Cancer Alley," "Texas Brine Sinkhole," "Fracking West Virginia" or "plastic pollution."

Better yet, watch the documentary "What Lies Upstream" (also found on YouTube) to see lobbyists colluding with West Virginia lawmakers as they gutted laws that would have prevented another Elk River disaster.

For those of us who rely on drinkable water, the risks are too great.

Jeanette Rowsey



Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.