I saw this online poll on the Roanoke Times website, and was pleasantly surprised to see that 80% OPPOSE fossil fuel “fracking” in the George Washington National Forest. True, it’s not a “scientific” poll, but still, it’s encouraging as far as it goes. The fact is, this should not be a difficult call, given that the GW and Jefferson National Forests contain 230,000 acres of old-growth forest, “over 50 species of trees and over 2,000 species of shrubs and herbaceous plants,” and “are popular hiking, mountain biking, and hunting destinations.” In addition, as this website explains, “More than 4.5 million Virginians rely on drinking water from the Potomac and the James River, which originate on the GWNF,” and “fracking would put those “critical drinking water resources at risk.”
Given all that, nobody in their right mind would actually support fracking in the GW National Forest, right? Think again. That’s right, guess which idiot supports fracking up the GW National Forest? You got it, our old fossil fuel friend Ken Cuccinelli, who never met a forest, stream, river, ecosystem, or planet he didn’t want to trash (in service of his paymasters – the Koch brothers, CONSOL Energy, Big Coal, etc.). In contrast, Terry McAuliffe opposes fracking the GW National Forest, as does the Virginia Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Potomac and Shenandoah Riverkeepers, the Virginia Conservation Network, and pretty much anyone else with any sense. The bottom line is this, as Progress Virginia explains:
The best way to lower energy prices is by developing clean, safe resources that will create permanent Virginia jobs while preserving our unique environment. Clean energy is the fastest growing industry in the U.S. today. Virginia should be leading the country in creating renewable energy jobs. Fracking risks our natural heritage for the benefit of a few campaign donors.
Clearly, it’s not worth risking the amazing GW National Forest for the profits of the oil and gas companies. Yet Ken Cuccinelli would do just that – clearly prioritizing his fossil fuel donors over the interests of millions of Virginians, while Terry McAuliffe opposes it. As if you needed yet another great reason not just to vote for McAuliffe on November 5, but to actively campaign for him, and against the Koch brothers’ best friend forever – the Cooch – you’ve now got one.
P.S. For more information on fracking, see Cornell Professor: Natural Gas Fracking a “Gangplank to more warming and away from clean energy investments”, Rep. Upton: Taxpayers Paid to Develop Fracking Technology, Now Should Have No Say in Its Use, and Video: “Frackalypse Now”.