On Wednesday, October 13, activists from across the Ohio Valley traveled to Wheeling and Moundsville, West Virginia for a march to end the expansion of petrochemical facilities in the valley.
This march was part of a nationwide effort titled "Break Free From Plastics Actions Against Extraction." In coordination with this local march, similar actions were held across the U.S., calling on President Biden to halt the permitting of new petrochemical facilities.
As CORR has stated since 2019, PTTGC will not provide meaningful long-term employment to residents nor will the company offset the potential environmental costs to construction and production. "As far as I can tell," stated CORR organizer Bev Reed, "we're the only ones talking about the downsides and that's important for everyone to see both sides and they can decide what they want to support."
Reed went on to state that the support shown at this march is just a fraction of the number of residents who oppose this buildout. “There’s a lot of people here in the valley and up and down the Ohio River Valley that want a better future — one that doesn’t rely on boom-bust industries — because we’re ready for something that’s healthy, sustainable and clean.”
Another CORR organizer who was in attendance, Jill Hunkler, spoke about the urgency for the Biden administration to act swiftly and block future petrochemical projects. "One of our ultimate goals is to really encourage the Biden administration to stop subsidizing fossil fuels and petrochemical development," Hunkler relayed, "and to reallocate funds that could have been used for those industries into sustainable regenerative agriculture, solar and other alternate industry sources to bring more vitality and a diversified economy to the region."
As part of this larger, nationwide march, organizers drew attention to the connections between natural gas development, the petrochemical industry, and plastic pollution. As marchers moved from Wheeling to Moundsville, signs that read "Fracking - Cracking - Plastic," "Protect the Ohio Valley - We Deserve Better," and "Safe Green Jobs Now" were carried across bridges and along state routes. Marchers ended the trip in Moundsville, across the river from Dilles Bottom where the proposed PTTG cracker plant is set to be constructed.
CORR would like to extend our deepest thanks to our friends and supporters and to everyone who came out to make this march a success.