Every time I leave Arkansas to travel home to KC to visit family, I always pass a chemical plant that can be seen off in the distance along the Interstate near Crossett.

Crossett AR

I always hold my breath when I pass by because it stinks horribly along that section of the highway. It stinks so bad it makes you hiccup even from 50 miles away, especially if you’re passing by downwind. The plant emits more pollution than anything I’ve ever seen, and the sky is literally grayed out for about a 10 mile radius all around the industrial smoke stacks.

It’s so ironic that Arkansas is dubbed “The Natural State.” It’s also a southern Republican state, and if you take one look at the billowing chemical clouds you immediately become aware that there’s absolutely nothing natural about that much unchecked environmental pollution. Recently, I’ve learned that there’s a cancer epidemic going on in Crossett. The local politicians seem to say that this chemical plant is “good” for the local economy because it brings jobs to the population of about 6,000. However, those same politicians also accept campaign contributions from the plant’s ownership. I’ve heard the local population has a different opinion. Jobs are great. They’re important. We all know that. But, what good is a steady subsistence salary if you’re too dead from cancer to spend it?

I don’t mean to say that in jest, but only out of concerned observation. I’m concerned because recently I’ve become aware of the institutional ownership of that massive chemical plant. Why am I not surprised by all of this? Ever since relocating to Arkansas I’ve grown evermore familiar with the sleuth of peculiar everyday ironies of southern behavior. I could elaborate, but that’s besides the point. Right now, I just want to share a pic. The truth is that I had no idea that disgusting chemical plant was owned by Koch Industries.

Here’s more…

Koch-Owned Georgia-Pacific Plant Linked To High Cancer Rates, Film Alleges.

WASHINGTON — David Bouie, a 64-year-old resident of Crossett, Ark., says something isn’t right on Penn Road. In the 15 homes on his street, 11 people have recently died of cancer. The casualties include George Parker and his wife, Ollie Parker, as well as Bobbie Sue Gibbs and her neighbor Tom Perkins, both of whom passed away with multiple cancers. Dolores Wimberly, a former neighborhood resident, says her daughter Laetitia, a nonsmoker, died of lung cancer at 43; and Penn Road resident Norma Thompson says her husband died of lung cancer, while she continues to have breathing problems, often relying on a respirator.

“Whenever we take a trip out of town, our respiratory system seems to get better,” said David Bouie’s wife, Barbara, who has spent her entire life in Crossett, the largest city in Ashley County. “I don’t have trouble breathing, or use my eye drops, or anything. But when we come home, it starts all over again — the headache, everything.”

provocative new video by political filmmakers Brave New Films says that Crossett residents who suffer from poor air quality and ambient carcinogens are victims of pollution emitted by a Koch Industries-owned paper manufacturer, Georgia-Pacific. The plant is located directly upstream from the channel behind Penn Road. “Whatever’s in (the water) is killing these trees,” says David Bouie in the video. “You can see the steam coming from the stuff. It gets up in the air, and it flows over where our property is.

Thanks for stopping by today, Dear Reader! Now don’t get down on yourself. Never. Nope, not ever. Just remember to look up and observe the world around you once in awhile. The world needs you. If you’re alive today, there’s hope. There’s always hope. We just have to take action, real positive concerted action, to help make the world a better place. 

Peace & Love,

Choose Hope

 Oh, BTW…

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