Moms are working in West Virginia to fight for clean air and a stable climate. We host events, share information about what’s going on, and create opportunities for mothers to talk to their legislators about their concerns. Please join us in West Virginia, and let us know about your priorities.
members in West Virginia
How we’re making a difference in West Virginia
West Virginia Moms Respond to Covid-19
As we continue to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic in West Virginia, Moms Clean Air Force is holding all events virtually. Keeping our families safe is our top priority. So we are meeting with each other and our lawmakers remotely, while we explore ways to best support West Virginia communities.
West Virginia Moms demand that the Department of Environmental Protection limit greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.
On October 27, 2020, Moms Clean Air Force field organizer Leah Barbor testified before the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in opposition to a permit that would allow the Longview Power Station to increase its greenhouse gas emissions by 0.4% every year. This permit is the first to be considered under the Trump EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, which replaced the Clean Power Plan. In 2018, thousands of Moms Clean Air Force members submitted public comments opposing the ACE rule, and several testified at EPA’s public hearing on the rulemaking in Chicago.
In her testimony before the DEP, Leah spoke to the DEP’s and EPA’s legal and moral obligation to reduce climate pollution:
“As parents, we have a moral obligation to protect our children’s health and future. The do-nothing approach of the current [federal] administration is a stunning abdication of a basic parental instinct. As parents, we are here to formally register our opposition, yet again, to this approach, which is strikingly contrary to the mission of governmental organizations enacting it.”
Moms Clean Air Force joins West Virginia Climate Alliance to release A Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change.
On September 21, 2020, Moms Clean Air Force West Virginia and 10 partner organizations released a 16-page report titled A Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change. The guide is a resource for educating West Virginians on the causes of climate change and providing commonsense solutions that center around environmental justice and a just transition to clean energy for impacted workers and frontline communities.
On release of the report, West Virginia organizer Leah Barbor said,
Our society has an obligation to leave our children a healthy environment so they can grow and prosper. Providing public education on this complex issue is the first step towards having a meaningful dialogue on the pressing issue of climate change.
West Virginia Moms join Moms Clean Air Force members from across the country to demand EPA protect our families from dangerous smog.
On August 30 and September 1, 2020, Moms Clean Air Force West Virginia joined more than 50 Moms Clean Air Force staff and volunteers from 14 states and DC to deliver testimony at EPA’s virtual public hearing on ground-level ozone, or smog. Smog is a widespread and largely preventable form of air pollution that is a powerful lung irritant and asthma trigger. In July 2020, in the midst of a global respiratory pandemic, EPA chose to keep the standards for smog the same—in spite of strong evidence showing significant health harm at levels below the current standards—and opened a public comment period that would be considered notably short even if we were not in the midst of a global respiratory pandemic. This continues a disturbing trend at EPA, led by Administrator Andrew Wheeler, of sidelining science, ignoring environmental injustice, and stifling public participation in the rulemaking process.
West Virginia organizer Leah Barbor offered testimony.
West Virginia Moms join members of Moms Clean Air Force across the country to demand stronger protections against deadly soot.
In May 2020, Moms Clean Air Force West Virginia joined more than 65 Moms Clean Air Force staff and volunteers from 18 states and DC to deliver testimony at the EPA’s virtual public hearing on PM 2.5, or deadly soot. In April 2020, Trump’s EPA proposed to retain the current standards for particle pollution, ignoring science and putting thousands of lives at risk. Even in the midst of a national public health emergency from COVID-19, moms participated in the public hearing in record numbers. It’s one of many ways Moms Clean Air Force West Virginia is continuing to engage in serious and consequential advocacy and outreach during the coronavirus pandemic.
West Virginia organizer Leah Barbor offered testimony.
West Virginia Moms Testify to Oppose Weakening the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
On February 25, West Virginia Supermom Ellie Bell testified against the rollback of the National Environmental Policy Act in Washington, DC. One of America’s first environmental protection laws, NEPA helps to ensure that federal projects do not have significant adverse health, environmental, economic, or social impacts on our communities.
I live in Snowshoe, West Virginia, where I have seen firsthand how important the NEPA process is to give my community the right to know and the ability to comment on how local projects directly, indirectly, and cumulatively impact our health, safety, economy, and environment.
Read the full story here.
Working with Moms in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to protect our children’s health from climate pollution.
Just as the energy sector works to build cross-state infrastructure, Moms Clean Air Force field organizers and volunteers from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are working together to advocate for climate safety. By implementing commonsense environmental regulations, reducing greenhouse gas pollution, and embracing clean energy opportunities, the tri-state area can build a strong economy that prioritizes our children’s health and equity across communities.
Watch the second in our series of tri-state energy updates here:
Moms & Mayors
Our Moms & Mayors program connects moms with their mayors and local leaders to improve children’s health and build resilient communities. In Buckhannon, West Virginia, Field Organizer Leah Barbor is working with Mayor McCauley to implement clean air strategies, reduce toxins in the community, and take action on climate change.
Building coalitions across West Virginia.
Moms Clean Air Force West Virginia is working with climate and faith organizations across the state to raise awareness about climate change and social justice and to advocate for just and sustainable future for our children.
One local issue bringing groups together is the Appalachian Storage Hub, a $10 billion underground petrochemical storage facility planned for the Ohio River Valley. The facility would be large enough to house 10 million barrels of natural gas liquids, the feedstock of plastics and resins, and would encourage the expansion of a chemical production corridor—the new Cancer Alley—along the Ohio River.
Recognizing that every day should be Earth Day.
For Earth Day 2020, West Virginia Organizer Leah Barbor created a toolkit designed to help families learn about environmental issues, deepen their connections to the earth, explore solutions to systemic problems, and use their voices to elevate justice for our beautiful world. The toolkit, which can be used year round, offers meaningful action and resources for children of all ages, including prompts for conversations about political engagement, a community art project, games to help children learn about nature, videos about climate change, ample opportunity for reflection, and more.
Find the toolkit here.
We rely too heavily on coal.
Second only to Wyoming, West Virginia produces nearly 13% of coal in the United States. While an important source of income to many West Virginian families, our reliance on coal is taking a toll on our communities. One in 5 coal miners in our state develop Black Lung Disease, and this deadly disease can cost coal miners up to a million dollars for lung transplants.
In 2018, 92% of West Virginia’s electricity generation was powered by coal. But we have the potential, as a state, to move toward clean energy—especially solar. Many experts even encourage transforming former mine sites into solar projects.
Moms Clean Air Force is working to build this clean energy future for our state to protect the health of our children, families, and communities.
The Ohio River Valley is the site of the new Cancer Alley.
West Virginia is seventh largest producer of natural gas in the U.S. It overlies part of the country’s largest natural-gas-producing area—the Marcellus and Utica shale formations—and has the fourth largest natural gas reserves of any state.
Because of its abundant natural gas, West Virginia is being targeted for a huge petrochemical buildout along the Ohio River Valley. This buildout is expected to rival industrial development along the Mississippi River in Louisiana, known as Cancer Alley. It will include the Appalachian Storage Hub and its attendant chemical production facilities, primarily ethane cracker plants and plastic production operations.
With this petrochemical infrastructure inevitably comes air pollution that harms our health and makes climate change worse. Moms across West Virginia are joining together to fight this development and ensure clean air for our children.
Flash floods are endangering our communities.
West Virginia is the U.S. state most prone to flash floods. In just 10 years, West Virginia experienced 12 FEMA disaster declarations because of flash floods. Climate change will increase this danger to our families. Along with more extreme weather, it is predicted that in West Virginia, there will be a 10% increase in precipitation in this century.
On September 30, Moms Clean Air Force Ohio organizer Tracy Sabetta, Pennsylvania organizer Vanessa Lynch, and West Virginia organizer Leah Barbor sat down to discuss energy policy in their states and ways moms are working to ensure climate safety for our children. Watch the video here.
On September 29, Moms Clean Air Force chapters in DC, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia hosted watch parties for the first presidential debate. After receiving hundreds of emails and tweets from our members, debate moderator Chris Wallace strayed from the planned debate topics and spent 10 minutes questioning the candidates about their climate policy. It was the first time a debate moderator had asked a question about climate change during a presidential debate in 12 years.
On September 21, West Virginia organizer Leah Barbor participated in the virtual press conference announcing the release of A Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change. The guide, written by Moms Clean Air Force and 10 partner organizations, is a resource for educating West Virginians on the causes of climate change and providing commonsense solutions that center around environmental justice and a just transition to clean energy for impacted workers and frontline communities.
West Virginia Moms joined Moms Clean Air Force members across the country to testify in EPA’s virtual hearing on its proposal to retain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ground-Level Ozone. West Virginia organizer Leah Barbor urged EPA to follow the science and strengthen the existing rule.
On July 10, West Virginia Moms met at Greenbrier State Forest for a socially distanced walk and conversation about local climate issues and ways we can reimagine a new normal based on what we’ve learned during the pandemic.
As part of their weekly Moms Read for Our Future series, Pennsylvania field organizer Vanessa Lynch and West Virginia field organizer Leah Barbor hosted an online reading of Energy Island by Allan Drummond. Watch the story and activity.
West Virginia Moms joined Moms Clean Air Force members across the country to testify in the EPA’s virtual hearing on its proposal to retain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. West Virginia organizer Leah Barbor testified in favor of following science and strengthening the existing rule.
Field organizer Leah Barbor participated in a virtual town hall with Senator Joe Manchin, asking how he planned to hold EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler accountable for stripping environmental safeguards and setting Americans up for increasing public health vulnerabilities in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
West Virginia organizer Leah Barbor attended a town hall with Senator Joe Manchin in Huntington, West Virginia.
On February 18, West Virginia organizer Leah Barbor attended a Climate Mayor Meeting with Mayor McCauley of Buckhannon.
Moms Clean Air Force West Virginia hosted a Creation Care Prayer Breakfast with Del. Danielle Walker, West Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, West Virginia Council of Churches, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, and Christians for the Mountains in Charleston.
Members of Moms Clean Air Force from Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and DC, testified at the Washington, DC, public hearing on the rollback the National Environmental Policy Act. Moms spoke out against the White House’s plan to weaken this important safeguard. Read more here.
Field organizer Leah Barbor hosted a Communing for Climate house party.
- Connect the Dots Podcast, Young and Wild and Sick
- Coal Valley News, W.Va. environmental, social justice groups release climate change guide
- The Herald-Dispatch, W.Va. environmental, social justice groups release climate change guide
- MetroNews, Newly formed West Virginia environmental group presents climate report
- Charleston Gazette-Mail, Leah Barbor: Pollution agenda harms West Virginians amid pandemic
- Center for American Progress, Environmental Review Is Under Attack: Here Is What’s at Stake
- My Buckhannon, Planet-friendly fun: Here’s a handful of activities to help adults and kids celebrate 50th annual Earth Day
- Press Release, West Virginia Moms are outraged at EPA’s attack on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in the midst of a global respiratory pandemic: Sabotaging these standards is an unforgivable assault on our health
- My Buckhannon, Moms Clean Air Force seeking members to take everyday actions that protect environment for future generations
- Charleston Gazette-Mail, Penny Dacks: Capito should protect WV from Wheeler’s dodgy record (Gazette Opinion)
- WOWK 13 News, EPA Clean Power Plan Hearings End in WV
- CBS FOX 59, EPA Clean Power Plan Hearings End in WV
- Courthouse News Service, Scores Turn Out In Coal Country to Air Views on Clean Power Plan’s End
- Charleston Gazette-Mail, EPA greenhouse gas rule hearing in WV draws supporters, opponents
- Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition, Nearly 300 slated to speak at epic W.Va. hearing today
- West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Clean Power Plan’s Repeal Gets Hearing In Coal Country
- The Washington Post, In the heart of coal country, EPA gets an earful about Clean Power Plan’s fate