Robber barons are at the helm

Appearing in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel:

 Sunday, September 22, 2019

Letter to the Editor by Ron Teska, Belleville, WV

Reading this article brought a quote by John Prine to mind i.e. “It makes no sense that common sense makes no sense no more.” For Jim Justice to state “Now, we’re finally starting to tell our story; that West Virginia is the perfect place to live and work in paradise” is an “in your face” misrepresentation of the current “paradise” that is West Virginia.

We have tolerated the southern half of the state being raped and pillaged by coal companies that have blown up entire mountains to the tune of well over a 1/4 mile road from New York to San Francisco with four men and a 22 story tall dragline, and have buried over 1,200 miles of headwaters with the overburden.

In the northern part of “paradise,” such as Marshall County, there has been a fracking gas boom that not only is destroying the streams, air quality and way of life that people have enjoyed for generations, but has also brought in the drug dealers due to workers from across the country working six to seven days a week — and ten to twelve hours a day — making thousands of dollars. This is an open invitation for drug dealers as energy corporations could care less about drugs and the community as greed and overworking employees for the sake of less company cost is their driving force.

And even though a corporation such as EQT puts a sign on the interstate that says “please do not litter/EQT,” that does not mean they give a rat’s you know what about the water, air, land, animals and way of life in the communities they “serve.” But don’t take my word for it, just visit Marshall County and Boone County and talk to the residents.

The problem is that Justice and his friend Donald Trump are merely symptoms of the main problem, which is the unfettered capitalism practiced by fossil fuel energy and other mining corporations in over 136 countries with military bases protecting this “American Interest.” Were common sense to be a motivating factor in decision making, instead of monetary gain by our representatives, we would be installing solar panel factories, wind generation plants, geothermal plants and maybe a technical school or two to teach high schoolers the inevitable practice of alternative energy that is stimulating youth across the globe.

Instead, we are ignoring a stable and conscientious job market that demonstrates to our children, grandchildren and those yet to be born that we not only care about them but that we are also fulfilling our responsibility as caretakers of the planet.

Allowing Jim Justice and Donald Trump to have their way will only cause our grandchildren to look at all us as “criminal ancestors.”

Ron Teska