Category Archives: Feature

West Virginians Look Toward the Sun, Say No to Coal, Fracking

Evell Meade of Kermit, W.Va., Greg Dotson of Parkersburg, W.Va. and Mark Hunt of Charleston, W.Va., from left to right, carry a solar panel into a doctor’s office in Williamson, W.Va. A group devoted to creating alternative energy jobs in Central Appalachia is building a first for West Virginia’s southern coalfields region this week:  a rooftop solar array, assembled by unemployed and underemployed coal miners and contractors. Photo: Jeff Gentner/AP
A group devoted to creating alternative energy jobs in Central Appalachia is building a first for West Virginia’s southern coalfields region this week: a rooftop solar array, assembled by unemployed and underemployed coal miners and contractors. Photo: Jeff Gentner/AP

By Michaela Reasbeck, Mint Press News

At just 9.70 cents per kilowatt hour, West Virginians pay the third-lowest electricity rates in the nation. Yet they don’t enjoy the nation’s lowest electricity bills, and they’re not likely to in the future, either. Continue reading West Virginians Look Toward the Sun, Say No to Coal, Fracking

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Activist Commits Civil Disobedience Action Opposing Cove Point

Carling Sothoron at top of crane.
Carling Sothoron at top of crane.

By Melinda Tuhus, Between The Lines

On Feb. 3, an anti-fracking activist climbed a 150-foot crane on the site of Dominion Resources’ liquid natural gas – or LNG – refinery and export terminal under construction at Cove Point, on southern Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay shore. Carling Sothoron, 27, works as a teacher at a farm school in Baltimore and is a member of the group SEED – Stopping Extraction and Exports Destruction. It’s one of many organizations – local and regional – campaigning to stop the $3.8 billion LNG project.

Opponents say the LNG terminal will bring noise and dangerous pollution to residents living near the site in the town of Lusby; greatly increase fracking throughout the Marcellus shale region where natural gas is extracted and blow a hole in any attempt to rein in carbon pollution to keep climate change from going into overdrive. Continue reading Activist Commits Civil Disobedience Action Opposing Cove Point

Climate Activist Walks to Stop Cove Point

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Charles Chandler is walking 360 miles to meet a court date in Calvert County on Monday.

By John Zangas, Cetology

Back in December, Charles Chandler was arrested for trespass in Southern Maryland while protesting a plant under conversion there to liquefy natural gas and load onto tankers for export to Asia. This facility on the Chesapeake Bay, called Cove Point LNG, could be a major driver of fracking on the East Coast and facilitate the emissions of millions of tons of greenhouse gases.

Chandler decided that walking to his court hearing in Prince Frederick this coming Monday would be appropriate. But he didn’t just resolve to walk a few miles to the courthouse. No, he embarked on a march of 360 miles.

Setting out from Ithaca, New York on January 24, Chandler has walked an average of 13 miles a day for 28 days, and is due to arrive in Lusby today. He is walking this long distance to raise awareness about Cove Point LNG and raise funds to fight it. Continue reading Climate Activist Walks to Stop Cove Point

Family Will Fight Pipeline Route: “People Can’t Be Expected to Just Lie Down”

Black bear in Catawba, VA/Photo by Tom VanNortwick, flickr
Black bear in Catawba, VA/Photo by Tom VanNortwick, flickr

By Duncan Adams, Roanoke Times

An acquaintance told Louise Garman to accept the inevitable — that there’s little she can do to stop a buried natural gas pipeline from traveling through her family’s farm in the Catawba Valley if the powers that be ultimately decide that’s the anointed route.

But Garman, 81, said she still has enough fight to object to an alternative route that could bring the 42-inch-diameter interstate pipeline through the property of family members, friends and neighbors.

“People can’t be expected to just lie down,” Garman said Monday. Continue reading Family Will Fight Pipeline Route: “People Can’t Be Expected to Just Lie Down”

Seneca Lake Uprising Continues

By Sandra Steingraber, EcoWatch

[Editor’s note: Since the We Are Seneca Lake campaign began on Oct. 23, 2104, there have been 216 arrests, with six of those arrests yesterday. The campaign is working to protect Seneca Lake and the surrounding Finger Lakes region from the gas storage expansion project by Texas-based energy company, Crestwood Midstream. Crestwood’s intention is to repurpose the crumbling salt mines underneath Seneca Lake’s hillside into massive gas tanks for highly-pressurized products from fracking: methane, propane and butane.]

I told the guy at the wilderness outfitter store that I needed footwear appropriate for standing motionless in frigid temperatures with occasional bouts of below-zero wind chill. For possibly long periods of time.

He asked if I was going ice fishing.

There are no guidebooks for how to carry out a sustained civil disobedience campaign during winter—let alone one that involves human blockades that intercept trucks attempting to enter a compressor station site on a steeply sloping lakeshore with 18 inches of snowpack. Continue reading Seneca Lake Uprising Continues

Attorney Crisscrosses West Virginia and Beyond to Teach About Pipelines

Elise Keaton with Greenbrier River Watershed Association meeting thousands of people

By Michael M. Barrick, Appalachian Chronicle

LEWISBURG, W.Va. – Keeping up with Elise Keaton as she crisscrosses West Virginia – and beyond – is not an easy task. But then, Keaton has a big job – to stay ahead of energy companies rushing to receive approval for the development of several natural gas pipelines.

Elise KeatonIn fact, the pace and tactics of the companies seeking to build the pipelines are such that even the most informed of citizens is finding it difficult to keep abreast of developments. So Keaton, the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Greenbrier River Watershed Association (GRWA), keeps moving from her office here.

An attorney, Keaton began with the GRWA in mid-October last year. There has been little time for rest since, she revealed. “We’ve held meetings in Montgomery and Roanoke Counties in Virginia as well as in Monroe, Summers, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Upshur, Pocahontas, Lewis and Monongalia counties in West Virginia. We will be in Braxton, Harrison, and Franklin counties within the next month. I’ve probably spoken to and with about 1,500 folks.” Continue reading Attorney Crisscrosses West Virginia and Beyond to Teach About Pipelines