'Promised Land' has a critical failure
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Reviews of "Promised Land" have missed a critical failure of this movie about Marcellus Shale gas drilling. It is a failure that the industry tries to discount. It concerns resident landowners.
This movie falsely suggests that landowners have a say. If residents in this movie lived in West Virginia, they would not have been approached to sign leases unless they owned mineral rights.
In 1981 the Appalachian Land Ownership Task Force study found that three-fourths of minerals in West Virginia were owned by absentee owners who didn't live on the land. More than half didn't even live in the state.
The late Sen. Robert C. Byrd said West Virginia's "rich resources have been largely owned and exploited by outside interests. Absentee owners, while living outside the state, wrested ... the wealth that made them rich."
In The Charleston Gazette, Jen Osha Buysse and Cathy Kunkel wrote: "The last systematic study of land ownership... found that nearly 60 percent of land in the sample of West Virginia counties studied was corporate-owned -- and the percentage is even higher for mineral ownership."
This movie ignores countless small resident landowners, forced to watch as their dreams are torn apart by industry's chain saws, 'dozers and drilling rigs.
Except for ignoring landowner rights, "Promised Land" is somewhat entertaining. At least Hollywood has begun to take notice. Even Hollywood is cashing in on West Virginia's resources.
Machin proposal on guns is an illusion
Sen. Joe Manchin, by calling for a National Commission on Violence, seems to have fallen in step with the sarcasm of Petronius Arbiter, a Roman who wrote in 210 B.C.:
"We trained hard -- but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization."
The commission that Sen. Manchin proposes would indeed give only the illusion of progress toward responsible gun legislation, while in fact accomplishing nothing at all for years, if ever. We need to reinstate the 1994 ban on assault weapons, now.
Jean B. Cropley
Board of Education is out of touch