West Virginians Still Need Water After Coal Chemical Spill

By: Tuesday January 21, 2014 5:46 pm

So little is known about 4-MCHM that regulators didn’t even know it’s boiling point. Now scientists are scrambling to find out how the chemical reacts with the chlorine in the municipal water system, and whether the chemical has leached into water heaters and water pipes in people’s homes. Authorities recommend that all pipes that have come in contact with the pollutant be flushed, including water heaters and outdoor faucets.

However, West Virginia American Water, the company that owns the water treatment facility contaminated by the coal chemical, is only offering a 10 dollar credit (1000 gallons) to consumers. The cost of flushing homes will therefore fall on already struggling West Virginians.


Podcast: After Chemical Spill, Mother in West Virginia Describes Life in ‘Human Sacrifice Zone’

By: Sunday January 19, 2014 8:35 am

Residents in the city of Charleston in West Virginia have been told at least twice by officials that it was now safe to drink water that had been polluted by Freedom Industries by a chemical known as 4-methylcyclohexane methanol. The chemical, used to clean and process coal, spilled out into the Elk River on January 9.

However, few residents believe officials when they say it is safe to drink the water again.

The Toxic Chemical Spill Crisis in West Virginia Will Happen Again. Here’s Why (video)

By: Thursday January 16, 2014 6:15 pm

When a massive chemical spill happens that contaminates the water supply and leaves over 300,00 people in West Virginia without water to drink, bathe or even brush their teeth – when a dangerous event that throws a whole area of the country into an existential crisis happens, one wants to believe that state and local officials in every part of the country are paying close attention to learn from this crisis to see to it that it be averted in their communities.

“Plans?! Those cost money…money we need to pay for tax breaks to coal companies!”

By: Wednesday January 15, 2014 1:30 am

The Mountaineer State’s image as caring more about corporations than people is really being bolstered this week.

Island in the Sky: Big Coal Disrespects the Dead

By: Wednesday September 4, 2013 12:35 pm

For years, the Jarrell family has had to fight tooth-and-nail against the coal companies whose mountaintop removal mining operations kept creeping closer to their cemetery. If it wasn’t insulting enough to have to fight to preserve the graves of their ancestors, the family cannot even visit the cemetery without putting in a request with the mine’s safety coordinator. But the Jarrell family has had enough.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Laurence Leamer, The Price of Justice: A True Story of Greed and Corruption

By: Saturday July 6, 2013 1:59 pm

A nonfiction legal thriller that traces the fourteen-year struggle of two lawyers to bring the most powerful coal baron in American history, Don Blankenship, to justice.

Majority of West Virginia Voters Support Medical Marijuana

By: Friday January 18, 2013 1:18 pm

West Virginia is the 14th most conservative state in the country. It has the third highest percentage of senior citizens in the country and it is the state where Mitt Romney won his fifth largest share of the vote. Despite all that there is still majority support for medical marijuana.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (R-WV) Will Not Seek Another Term

By: Friday January 11, 2013 2:17 pm

This afternoon Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) announced that his incredibly long career in politics is finally coming to a close. Rockefeller will not seek re-election in 2014.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Chris Hedges, Days of Destruction Days of Revolt

By: Saturday September 15, 2012 1:59 pm

Let’s just be very clear right up front, Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco may have both collected their share of mainstream awards, like Pulitzers, American Book Awards, and the like, but with this book, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, they remove any doubt about whether they are “celebrity couriers,” as they derisively term a lot of what is left of the mainstream, main street journalists out there today slapping whitewash on poverty and helping spin the machinery that manufactures rose-colored glasses. They have traveled through some of the hellholes on the dark side of the American economic reality and they are angry about the whole damn thing, fired up, fed up, and desperately looking hard for a fight. This book needs to be read, and it needs to sell very well because these guys are pretty much unemployable now. Trust me, I know this!

Hobet Mine Shutdown, a Photo Diary

By: Monday August 6, 2012 4:16 pm

I was invited to photograph the protest and shutdown of the Hobet Mine in Boone and Lincoln Counties in West Virginia last week. The organizers knew me from my participation in the Blair Mountain March last year. This is the biggest mountaintop removal mine in the US, I am told. I was not aware of the location selected until we got there.

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