In W.Va. we grow up playing in mountain streams and rivers, fishing in ponds and lakes, hunting in forests, and sledding down hillsides. We take pride in our state and the natural beauty of our “Mountain Mama.”
We all want the same things: good paying, safe, consistent jobs, health, nutritious home-grown and wild-caught food, clean drinking water and air, and the right to own property. Division ensues, however, when we debate jobs. Some support coal, oil, gas, lumber and non-renewables, while some advocate wind, solar, thermoelectric, cannabis and renewable resources.
Imagine not being able to hunt because wildlife is dead or diseased, not being able to fish with your children and grandchildren because the waterways are poisoned, and the fish are dead or diseased, not being able to boat, swim or sled for fear of swallowing toxic-laden water or snow?
What is the price for our families, our children, our God-given-rights?
For protection, we have regulations and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The current administration, however, systematically attacks the EPA and environment including FEMA’s recent expelling of “climate change” from its strategic plan, budget cuts to climate and clean energy research and programs, loosening regulations on toxic air pollution, and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The National Parks Advisory Board resigned in protest to environmental attacks while the EPA dismissed its science advisors and scrubbed its climate change website. The Dakota Access Pipeline moved forward for use despite defiant protests and streams reopened to mining waste.
State-level attacks are evident as Gov. Jim Justice signed a new law to allow drilling for natural gas beneath W.Va. property where 75 percent of owners of its royalty interests agree.
Under current law, a single co-owner can block drilling, and development requires a winning lawsuit by the company. The new law