Film viewing set on gas industry

ELKINS — There will be a free showing of the documentary “GasWork” by director Josh Fox at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Fellowship Hall of the Woodford Memorial United Methodist Church at 113 First St. in Elkins.

The film examines dangerous working conditions in the oil and gas field.

Numerous injuries and deaths result from poor safety practices on rigs all over the country, according to national statistics. The oil and gas field has a higher death rate than all other industries. Fatality rates in the oil industry are seven times the national average across all industries.

“GasWork” opens with the story of CJ Bevins, a Buckhannon native who died in 2011 on an unsafe rig with multiple safety violations. From there the movie goes on to investigate worker safety and chemical risk in the industry. Many workers who were interviewed have been asked to engage in unsafe practices, such as cleaning drill sites, transporting radioactive and carcinogenic chemicals, and steam cleaning the inside of condensate tanks, which contain harmful chemicals, often without safety equipment.

Following the 45-minute movie, audience members will be invited to participate in small and large group discussions reflecting on the film, as well as their desires for community health, safety and economic development. On the eve of possible gas pipeline development in our communities, this film and discussion present opportunities to voice views and strategize on community preservation.

Potential threats from pipeline development include explosions, leaks, landslides, water contamination, and traffic hazards to school students and adults on local roads and bridges.

Facts and information sheets regarding the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline will be available. Refreshments will be served. Community members also are welcome to bring a snack to share.

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