No state has ever poisoned its way out of an economic crisis.
Environmental protection is not the enemy of economic development. It is a source of economic development.
“They believed the stereotypes about West Virginia. They thought we were dumb, illiterate. But they have another thing coming.”
Bobbi is walking the Potomac River right now, from Harpers Ferry to Washington, DC, with her dog Cookie, three of her friends (Pat, Stacy, Becky… and Becky’s dog Cookie), and anyone else who wants to join them. They’re walking to protest the Toxic Rockwool plant being built in Jefferson County. They’re also walking to support their friend, Tracy Danzey, who is walking across Denmark right now — “giving witness” to the detrimental effects of unchecked toxicity, herself having lost a leg to the effects of pollution.
This is West Virginia’s defining fight right now — David v. Goliath, a multinational corporation vs. elementary school kids.
Rockwool has become synonymous with corporate greed:
- They chose a spot less than half a mile from an elementary school, when there were other opportunities.
- They trampled the Boyd Carter cemetery, a historic Black grave site.
- They opted to use technology so toxic, that the same plant would not be allowed to operate in Denmark—where the company calls home.
- 17 sink holes have already emerged on the property, and 150 people attended a DEP hearing last week to outline other concerns.
- Leaders of the agriculture, tourism, and local arts economies have cautioned that their businesses are already being undermined by the presence of Rockwool.
- In spite of all this, the company has managed to secure tens of millions of dollars worth of government tax breaks, including a $150 million sweetheart deal in which the company won’t have to pay property taxes.
As you can imagine, the company found themselves on the wrong side of the people of Jefferson County. Rather than address their concerns, Rockwool literally bought a politician, hiring the House Majority Whip Paul Espinosa to be their public relations representative.
“There’s no place on earth more beautiful than Jefferson County, West Virginia. We have to keep it that way.”
West Virginia Can’t Wait is a movement to win a people’s government in the Mountain State, and we are proud to support the people of Jefferson County in their fight against this out-of-state monopoly.
View some of our plans to address these issues here: