"WE TEND TO THINK OF ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHES… AS ‘ACCIDENTS’: ISOLATED PHENOMENA THAT ERUPT WITHOUT NOTICE OR WARNING. BUT WHEN DOES THE WORD ACCIDENT BECOME INAPPROPRIATE? WHEN ARE SUCH OCCURRENCES INEVITABLE RATHER THAN ACCIDENTAL? AND WHEN DOES A CONSISTENT PATTERN OF INEVITABLE DISASTERS POINT TO A DEEP-SEATED CRISIS THAT IS NOT ONLY ENVIRONMENTAL BUT PROFOUNDLY SOCIAL?” – MURRAY BOOKCHIN
How many times have West Virginians had to ask themselves the question: Do we protect our environment or do we create jobs?
How many times have out of state corporations treated our state as an extraction colony? Our people as disposable laborers? Our communities as burdens to their profit?
In 2014, faulty storage tanks containing the chemical 4-Methycyclohexanemethanol began leaking this toxic chemical into the Elk River, affecting the usable water for 300,000 of our state’s residents. As families had to go without drinking water, Freedom Industries acted to protect their shareholders. Although this spill was their third major chemical accident in five years, Freedom Industries sought to protect themselves rather than residents. Freedom filed for bankruptcy soon after the spill and were eventually bought out in a half-hearted attempt to prevent affected West Virginians from seeking damages from their negligence.
As a native West Virginian who has seen these industries continue taking from our land and our environment, killing it and our residents in the process, I vow to ALWAYS side with the people of this state over the interests of these companies.
If elected, I will support legislation to strengthen environmental regulations against extraction-based industries to protect our communities and our residents. I will also vote to end the disastrous mining policy of Mountain Top Removal which has scarred our beautiful landscape.