FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Fracking West Virginia, Rah Rah…

Political jurisdictions around the world — from New York to Scotland — are banning hydraulic fracturing (fracking) because of the public health risks.

But West Virginia is so beholden to the fossil fuels industry that the state motto could easily be changed from monatri semper liberi (mountaineers are always free) to montani inserviens corporatum statum (mountaineers are subservient to the corporate state.)

Let’s take the case of Hoppy Kercheval, West Virginia’s top ranked radio talk show host.

Kercheval’s show, Talkline, is broadcast Monday through Friday from 10 am to 12 noon on the MetroNews radio network.

MetroNews is owned by industrialist and Republican politician John Raese.

Raese is president and chief executive officer of Greer Industries, a steel and limestone producer.

His business interests also include The Morgantown Dominion Post, the West Virginia Radio Corporation, which owns 15 radio stations, along with the Metronews radio network.

Raese is a right leaning Republican who favors, for example, eliminating the minimum wage.

Kercheval agrees.

Raese has lost campaigns to represent West Virginia in the U.S. Senate in 1984, 2006, 2010 and 2012.

Kercheval and his wife contributed $4,800 to Raese’s 2010 Senate campaign.

While Kercheval strives for a balanced show when it comes to social issues, on issues of political economy, Talkline often morphs into an unabashed platform for runaway corporatism.

Take, for example, Kercheval’s February 4, 2015 Talkline show.

In one segment, Kercheval, broadcasting from the state capitol building in Charleston,  introduced the subject of “forced pooling.”

Unlike New York or Scotland, where fracking has been banned, West Virginia has an open door policy.

Kercheval rarely has guests on his show opposed to fracking.

He often has guests promoting the fossil fuel industry.

Under “forced pooling” legislation that will be up in the West Virginia legislature this month, a reluctant West Virginia mineral holder will be forced to lease their mineral rights to the natural gas corporation seeking to frack the reluctant holdout’s land.

To discuss the legislation, Kercheval had on two gas industry lobbyists — the two lobbyists who have spent the last 18 months drafting the “forced pooling” legislation.

Kercheval introduced one of the guests as “Kevin Ellis, chair of the WVONGA board.”

Kercheval didn’t identify what WVONGA stood for.

WVONGA stands for the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association. (WVONGA has marinated Raese’s West Virginia’s Radio Corporation with cash, including sponsoring a weekly radio show titled — Inside Shale — the Voice of the Industry, which plays on five West Virginia radio stations.)

At the end of the interview, Kercheval said Ellis was with Antero Resources. Antero Resources is an independent exploration and production company engaged in the exploitation, development and acquisition of natural gas, and oil properties located in the Appalachian Basin.

Kercheval identified the other guest as “Jim McKinney, past president of IOGA.”

Kercheval didn’t say what IOGA stands for. IOGA stands for the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia.

At the end of the interview, Kercheval said McKinney was with Enervest. Enervest, is one of the 25 largest oil and gas companies in the United States.

Under the “forced pooling” legislation that Ellis and McKinney are drafting, a natural gas company can force a mineral rights holder to lease the property if a supermajority of the mineral rights holder’s neighbors agree to lease to the natural gas companies.

Kercheval said he thinks he agrees with Ellis and McKinney on the legislation.

Next guest for Kercheval — the president of Southwestern Energy, William Way.

Way had just come from Governor’s Earl Ray Tomblin’s office.

Governor Tomblin had just signed legislation that cleared the way for Southwestern to begin drilling gas wells in West Virginia.

Kercheval was gushing.

No questions about the uprising around the world over fracking.

No questions about New York just a few months ago banning fracking.

No questions about all the other jurisdictions in the world saying no to fracking.

“Bill, we want to welcome you to West Virginia,” Kercheval said at the end of the interview. “It’s good to have you here. I hope you won’t be a stranger. I hope you’ll come back and be a part of our community. Come back and hang with us a bit, will ya?”

“I look forward to that,” Way said. “This is a great day for West Virginia. And we are ready to get to work.”

“Good,” Kercheval said. “Thank you and congratulations.”

Then at the end of the hour, right before going to the news break, Kercheval couldn’t resist piling on the compliments.

“It’s refreshing to have a major business enterprise sit down and say — they want to be here, they like the situation here, they like the environment, they like the fact that they needed just a relatively minor legislative fix transferring the permits and the state responded. It’s good to hear some of that good news occasionally, isn’t it?”

Rah Rah.

Russell Mokhiber edits Morgan County, USA.

More articles by:

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
September 20, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World
Rob Urie
Strike for the Environment, Strike for Social Justice, Strike!
Miguel Gutierrez
El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pompeo and Circumstance
Andrew Levine
Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway
Louis Proyect
A Rebellion for the Wild West
T.J. Coles
A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the Politicians Who Robbed Iranians and Libyans Fear the Same for Brexit Britain
H. Bruce Franklin
How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East
Lee Hall
Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry
Louis Yako
Working in America: Paychecks for Silence
Michael D. Yates
Radical Education
Jonathan Cook
Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?
Valerie Reynoso
The Rising Monopoly of Monsanto-Bayer
John Steppling
American Psychopathy
Ralph Nader
25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare for the 2020 Elections
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality
Vincent Emanuele
Small Town Values
John Feffer
The Threat of Bolton Has Retreated, But Not the Threat of War
David Rosen
Evangelicals, Abstinence, Abortion and the Mainstreaming of Sex
Judy Rohrer
“Make ‘America’ White Again”: White Resentment Under the Obama & Trump Presidencies
John W. Whitehead
The Police State’s Language of Force
Kathleen Wallace
Noblesse the Sleaze
Farzana Versey
Why Should Kashmiris be Indian?
Nyla Ali Khan
Why Are Modi and His Cohort Paranoid About Diversity?
Shawn Fremstad
The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric
Mel Gurtov
No War for Saudi Oil!
Robert Koehler
‘I’m Afraid You Have Humans’
David Swanson
Every Peace Group and Activist Should Join Strike DC for the Earth’s Climate
Scott Owen
In Defense of Non-violent Actions in Revolutionary Times
Jesse Jackson
Can America Break Its Gun Addiction?
Priti Gulati Cox
Sidewalk Museum of Congress: Who Says Kansas is Flat?
Mohamad Shaaf
The Current Political Crisis: Its Roots in Concentrated Capital with the Resulting Concentrated Political Power
Max Moran
Revolving Door Project Probes Thiel’s White House Connection
Arshad Khan
Unhappy India
Nick Pemberton
Norman Fucking Rockwell! and 24 Other Favorite Albums
Nicky Reid
The Bigotry of ‘Hate Speech’ and Facebook Fascism
Paul Armentano
To Make Vaping Safer, Legalize Cannabis
Jill Richardson
Punching Through Bad Headlines
Jessicah Pierre
What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America
John Kendall Hawkins
Draining the Swamp, From the Beginning of Time
Julian Rose
Four Funerals and a Wedding: A Brief History of the War on Humanity
Victor Grossman
Film, Music and Elections in Germany
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ahmet Altan’s “I Will Never See the World Again”
David Yearsley
Jazz is Activism
Elliot Sperber
Captains of Industry 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail