West Virginia has been known to be one of the largest producers of fossil fuels in the nation. But with recent methods of producing renewable energy, some West Virginians believe it’s time for a change.

“We want to see sustainable economic development come to the region, and when we keep on doing the same thing expecting a different result, that is investing in fossil fuels, we’re going to see the destruction and the problems that go with it,”  said April Keating, Mountainlinks Preservation Alliance.

Several organizations in the Appalachian region will be hosting tours of areas with fossil fuel devastation.

“We’re going to see some sites of a pipeline that already went in, the Stonewall Pipeline that has affected Lewis County and four other counties, and then we are going to see future sites of ACP, that’s the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and the MVP the Mountain Valley Pipeline,” Keating said.

Organizers said the tour is meant to inform and educate the public on the severity of this issue and to potentially stop the continued use of fossil fuels within the state.

“This is to make the community and people interested of what’s going on for real and not just the propaganda that they might have heard from the industry,” added Keating. 

Concerned citizens participated in the tour to learn more about the severity of this issue. 

“I just want to see what’s happening in Central West Virginia that is going to change the quality of life in Central West Virginia and I think endanger the people here,” said D.L. Hamilton, citizen.  

With West Virginia being a geothermal hotspot, solutions to this issue may lay right beneath us.

“Solar and wind are available. Hydropower is there and West Virginia is a geothermal hotspot. So we have abilities to develop things we haven’t even tried yet. And we just need to start thinking outside the box, to make life better for our people,” said Keating.

Organizations plan to continue educating citizens on the issue in order to see change in the future.