Letters to the editor May 9

Include public in talks
about future of energy
Chris Ventura’s  letter to the editor (DP-May 1) misses the mark. Real dialogue only happens when everyone gets an equal seat at the table.
Participants in the West Virginia Manufacturers Association’s Marcellus Manufacturing Conference should have listened to the concerns of ordinary folks. We know there are indeed sustainable, reliable and safe energy sources for the residents of the Ohio Valley.
The world faces catastrophic economic, social and environmental effects from climate change. Deploying renewable energy sources should be everyone’s priority. In 2016, there were 3 million jobs in non-fossil fuel energy and energy efficiency, compared to 1 million in fossil energy.
The proposed Appalachian Storage Hub would lock our region into yet another dirty energy economy, while also adding to  global  plastic pollution. Not smart! The rest of the world is enacting bans on single-use plastics and finding sustainable alternatives such as hemp.
Henry Ford’s 1941 carbon-negative car was made from a plant-based plastic. The material was lighter than fiberglass, 10 times stronger than steel and the car could run on recycled agricultural wastes. Canadian researchers have developed a hemp-based graphene that is 300 times stronger than steel.
NASA says methane leaks from the fracking process have erased any climate benefits from using fracked gas in power plants. The American Lung Association says the Pittsburgh-Weirton area ranks seventh among the dirtiest cities in the U.S. for year-round particle pollution. This can cause lung cancer. The Shell cracker plant will add 159 tons a year of particle pollution to that valley’s air.
It’s easy to ignore scientific studies when your job depends on you refuting those facts. The citizens  Ventura called “protesters” are not against progress. We envision a sustainable model of economic development as the way forward; a model that does not require sacrificing our health, safety and the environment.
Politicians and industry captains should have included local residents in their discussions with foreign investors. Now citizens have to resort to using public protests as a form of dialogue.
Dustin White
Charleston

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