The Department of Environmental Protection, DEP in West Virginia got an award for having a great website, they have beautiful glossy brochures and at the Sustainable Fair, their booth was giving away bundles of free trees, although no one was there the three hours that I was there. I went to a public meeting, but we weren't allowed in the building until just fifteen minutes before the meeting started, so there was no real congregating, socailizing, or meeting of minds. We were escorted to the rooms in small groups, giving the experience an aire I associate with places of hidden agendas.
An insider told me that if they really did their job, they would be fired. But I found it encouraging that they also said that they would like to help protect the environment, but they need to have numbers of people with passion speaking out emphatically. I took it they have plenty of encouragement to back the coal companies agendas, and not much other ground on which to stand, but I thought they were the agency set in place to protect our environment. Oh, it's not that simple.
What they do do, it seems, is sell permits to destroy the environment, in increments, and it's very very cheap! The amounts of sludge that can be impounded is like a ton or less is 34$ and a ton and more is 60$, but there is absoultely no gradation in monies accepted for 300 billion gallons and numbers that are actually being used. And the standards set forth to protect Underground Injection Sites in other states with liners and critera for disposal is just turned on edge to allow coal companies to dump toxic waste directly into the water table! Recently, the DEP issued a permit to Massey Coal to blast and take down Coal River Mountain, a designated top-notch Wind Farm location, although years of research is showing the feasibility for wind farming-- a leader in Green Clean Power and a place to put West Virginia at the lead of the Nation in Technology, just like what Joe manchin spills on Television in his commercials, so why is this happening?
The DEP has an identity crisis just like many others in this countryside. They know they are named the DEP, but they think it means the Department of Easy Permits, and we need to help them remember they are responsible for Protecting our Environment. It's probably not their fault that they forgot; the leader is appointed, and might have to deal with more than one puppet string. It takes alot of co-ordination to make a puppet move exactly how you want it to, and they can get tangles up when they try to make a move on their own. I know someone who plays scissors rock paper really well, but we know someone might own the paper too.
Now it has been posted that the EPA, the National level Envirnomental Protection Agency is getting new power and how we were so excited to hear this until the ruleing about how they will calculate emissions hit the internet-- it seems that the EPA is forgetting who they are too, and may not be the Environmental ally I had hoped for. It is so strange to think of iving an agency power to work in your behalf, then realizing it was just a ploy of the mysterious five who foresaw the need to pacify with this agency, but also the foresight to buy them out first. Oh King Coal, did you really kill the Kennedy's? and let the Stones blame it on us, because we buy your products?
Maybe it is our fault, using electricity, but many with their lights on have really been in the dark about how it is sequestered, and all the dirty process and bad politics and twisted arms that go into "keeping your lights on". Sleep well, America, the new dawn approaches and you will need your rest.