|0PINION By Bob Weaver 2015|
Corky Demarco, Executive Director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, said it's God's will that the Mountain State is imbued with coal and natural gas to be extracted.
Most West Virginia politicians agree with DeMarco and the extractors who have removed the blessings from the mountains for well over a century, have left the state among the poorest in the USA, particularly the coal counties.
Extractors, over that century, have also blamed God for disasters that have killed hundreds and destroyed the mountains, polluted the air and streams, harmed the health of citizens and left behind a billion dollars worth of clean-up for abandoned mines.
God both gives and takes away.
Many of the disasters from Buffalo Creek to Sago to Upper Big Branch that have killed hundreds, have died as an "act of God," not associated with faulty dams and unsafe practices, according to the extractors.
DeMarco, at a series of meetings with landowners, said "God didn't want us to be farmers, or this place would look like Kansas. God put us here in these mountains that are 450 million years old with the best coal in the world and the most natural gas in the world. And we have a responsibility, and I think companies like Dominion and others have seized on the opportunities that these mountains have provided and will continue to do this."
Michael Barrick, founder of the Appalachian Preservation Project,
said, "With his remarks, DeMarco has managed to move the natural gas industry's position on fracking and related pipeline development from the absurd to the profane."
"DeMarco's remarks are flippant - and insulting to people of faith who take seriously the stewardship of creation. They are also quite insulting to farmers. DeMarco clearly does not understand the true value of land. His comments demand a response from the faith community," said Barrick.
Barrick explained, "Virtually every faith tradition on earth holds that the planet and its ecosystems which support life are sacred. The 'Catechism of the Catholic Church' states, 'Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come.'
Also, the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church state, 'All creation is the Lord's, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it. Water, air, soil, minerals, energy resources, plants, animal life, and space are to be valued and conserved because they are God's creation and not solely because they are useful to human beings.'"
Barrick offered, "DeMarco has sounded an alarm to all those who hold a proper perspective of creation care. The fossil fuel industry believes it has dominion over private property, and indeed the entire planet. Well, the industry is dead wrong. Remarks such as DeMarco's cannot - and will not - go unchallenged. We trust that many people of faith will attend this conference to send that clear message to the fossil fuel industry."
See SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - The Great Power Has Gifted, Can We Save Our Mountains?
WEST VIRGINIA - "Life Is Old There, Older Than The Trees"
WV'S MOUNTAIN VISTAS WORTHY OF A ROAD TRIP - Happy Birthday
DAVE PEYTON: WEST VIRGINIA GETS WORSE, DESPERATE AND DEADLY - Innate Fatalism?
90 YEARS LATER: BATTLE AT BLAIR MOUNTAIN CONTINUES - Crimes Against West Virginians And Nature
GOD IS TURNING HIS HEAD - The Battle Over Mountaintop Mining