[anonymous submission received on 01.28.21]
On Thursday morning, a collection of autonomous activists blockaded the sole access road to the Shell Polymer’s office in Beaver, PA to protest the transformation of the Ohio Valley into a manufacturing hub for the petrochemical industry. Shell Polymers is a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, and they are constructing an ethane cracking facility in Beaver that will be used to turn fracked gas into plastic.
Marketed to the region as a job creator, the cracking facility will release 2 million tons of C02 every year along with 522 tons of volatile organic compounds that are linked to respiratory disease. The plastic the plant creates will add to the existing waste in oceans and landfills that are poisoning habitats for earthlings everywhere.
In an effort to avoid the dangers of climate change, the industry has set its sights on the Ohio Valley as its next sacrifice zone. Other cracking facilities and related infrastructure have been proposed in parts of Ohio and West Virginia despite the glut of plastics on the world market. If constructed, these facilities will help create a new Cancer Alley like what already exists in Louisiana.
While people in the affected regions surrounding the plant participated public hearings to voice opposition to the plant, they were ignored by both Shell and local government, so now those people are trying something else. Stay tuned for more action from these people standing up to the corporations at the root of the Sixth Mass Extinction.
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