Blog Posts > Chemical Valley: The Coal Industry, the Politicians, and the Big Spill
April 3, 2014

Chemical Valley: The Coal Industry, the Politicians, and the Big Spill

The New Yorker – On the morning of Thursday, January 9, 2014, the people of Charleston, West Virginia, awoke to a strange tang in the air off the Elk River. It smelled like licorice. The occasional odor is part of life in Charleston, the state capital, which lies in an industrial area that takes flinty pride in the nickname Chemical Valley. In the nineteenth century, natural brine springs made the region one of America’s largest producers of salt. The saltworks gave rise to an industry that manufactured gunpowder, antifreeze, Agent Orange, and other “chemical magic,” as The Saturday Evening Post put it, in 1943. The image endured. Today, the Chemical Valley Roller Girls compete in Roller Derby events with a logo of a woman in fishnet stockings and a gas mask. After decades of slow decline, the local industry has revived in recent years, owing to the boom in cheap natural gas, which has made America one of the world’s most inexpensive places to make chemicals. Read

Donate Today!
Icon with two hands to donate today.
Donate

Help Us Make West Virginia a Better Place to Live

Subscribe Today!
Icon to subscribe.
Subscribe

Follow Our Newsletter to Stay Up to Date on Our Progress

Thanks for reading our post 🙂

We have a great newsletter, join below:

Select list(s) to subscribe to


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, 8 Capitol Street, Charleston, WV, 25301. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact