Protect Land, Water, and Working People
What We're Up Against
Out-of-state landowners have been lying to West Virginians for generations.
- They try to convince us we’re poor and we need them, when they’ve stolen the land from beneath our feet.
- They insist that their invasions of our communities will make us prosperous and free, all the while fighting to block our constitutional property rights.
- They argue that having safe water is at odds with job creation and a healthy economy, when they know the opposite is true.
- They contend that West Virginians can handle more of the toxins they’re dumping in our water and pumping into our air because we’re larger–so they can avoid the cost of clean-up as much as possible.
We will no longer be sold to the highest bidder; instead, we will demand that any company doing business in our state will leave us better off than we were before they came–not worse.
- Form the basis of the jobs promise with The Mountaineer Service Corps.
- Encourage renewable energy facilities such as solar batteries or geothermal projects to be developed on lands formerly used for mining.
- Pursue emerging industries in downstream technologies (such as solar panel and rack construction), to bolster long term job creation in addition to funding recycling and conservation work.
Pass the strongest enforcement framework in the country that will shift the costs of extraction away from communities and working families and onto the millionaires and billionaires profiting at the expense of our communities and workers.
- Multiply existing state fines for spills and violations by 25X, and permit costs by 10X so that companies are no longer incentivized to simply break the law and pay the fine.
- Require Oil and Gas companies to pay for the water they use (like the rest of us).
- Establish sorting and collection points everywhere, including rural areas, where people currently have no access to recycling programs without travelling
- Create a program to retrieve–and where possible recycle–junk from old dump points over hillsides or in hollers.
- Establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation that can help businesses promote outdoor activity, health, and economic development that protects our land and water.
- Fund efforts to clean up and then protect West Virginia’s recreational/fishing waters so that we no longer have fish consumption advisories for every creek, pond, lake, river, and stream in the state due to contamination from mercury and PCBs.
- Connect thousands of rural and small town West Virginians to safe water systems who now are forced to rely on outdated, or contaminated systems.
- Find ways to reduce the cost to consumers for water and wastewater utilities.
- Require full transparency of all chemicals used in fracking within the state, and utilize chemical markers so that when spills and contamination occur, we can easily track and hold the executives who are responsible financially and criminally accountable.
- Update our state’s water quality standards for the 21st century in line with human health criteria the U.S. EPA released in 2015.
- Protect our recreational and drinking water sources by purchasing conservation easements.
- Require gas companies to pay royalties to mineral owners for natural gas liquids produced and saved.
- Prevent future Rockwool-style giveaways at the expense of taxpayers by creating a much higher bar for PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreements. Citizens must be individually notified by the company via certified mail or some other means that can be independently tracked.
- Protect State Park lands from deforestation.
- Ensure that sawmills are not able to exploit landowners;
- Eliminate the VAT loopholes, theft, and tax evasion within our timberland management system.
- Explore ways to preserve forest land as carbon offsets, and more.
No one politician or slate of candidates can win this plan alone. We need you.
If you have an idea for how to make this plan stronger, or if you would like to lend a hand to win it, contact our co-chair Stephen Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.