by Jim Kotcon, WV Environmental Council President |
Funds are needed for the 2008 Legislative season E-Council Lobby Team!
If you ever wondered why you need the West Virginia Environmental Council, just consider the following: An October 17, 2007 Forbes magazine article ranks West Virginia as No. 50 – dead last – in the magazine’s first-ever list of America’s “Greenest” States.
The article contains a photograph of a mud-swollen West Virginia stream, accompanied by the following text:”West Virginia posted low scores in every category, notably carbon footprint (fourth highest) and water cleanliness (we ranked it fourth worst). It’s got more toxic waste to manage per capita than all but three states. In 2005, it disposed of or released 97.1 million lbs of toxic waste. The state exceeded its Clean Water Act permit levels by an average of 679% in 2005, according to U.S. PIRG. This means the water was frequently grossly tainted.”
“So who’s at the bottom?” the magazine asks. According to the magazine, “Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Indiana and, at No. 50, West Virginia. All suffer from a mix of toxic waste, lots of pollution and consumption and no clear plans to do anything about it. Expect them to remain that way.”
Well, the West Virginia Environmental Council does not expect things “to remain that way.”
It’s an uphill battle, to be sure. West Virginia is a state with an historical record of weak environmental laws and regulations and lax enforcement, the direct result of entrenched political interests who fight hard to keep it that way.
But now we are at a crucial turning point. In the 2008 Legislative Session we will face an all-out assault by polluters on the rules that protect our most pristine rivers and streams from future pollution; and the Governor is proposing a regressive “energy opportunity plan” that totally ignores the very real dangers of global climate change and promises only to trap us further in a carbon-based economy.
At the same time, with some new faces in the Legislature there are real opportunities to make huge strides to turn West Virginia onto a better path. Thus, 2008 is one of those years where change is coming, and it is up to us to turn away from the dead ends of the past and make that a change for the better.
Since 1989 the West Virginia Environmental Council has been your voice for the environment at the State Legislature. During that time we have become an effective and respected advocate for clean water, clean air, public health, and for all those special places we West Virginians hold so dear.
Friends, that is why we need your financial support more than ever this year. It takes real dollars to fund the WVEC Lobby Team and provide the presence in Charleston that has been so invaluable in increasing our effectiveness in advocating for the environment.
Won’t you please, right now, send a check to WVEC? Thank you for your support.
WV Environmental Council
2206 Washington St East,
Charleston, WV 25311