So I know what I want to have happen I just don't have a plausible "why". Its typical young adult distopian stuff, set in the usa, in the future. They've mostly run out of gas, there's no power for cars and such so long distance travel is next to nonexistent. Most people have moved out of cities and started their own farms but people in smaller towns still manage. Also, cell towers, radio towers, satellites, and phone lines have been slowly falling into disrepair since no one can get out to them to fix anymore, thus communication has mostly reverted back to pen and paper mail, short wave radio, local internet servers within towns and the occasional access to satellite communication if they are lucky. Essentially, the government needs to be invading its own states under the guise of another country, silently wiping out entire cities with chemical weapons and then disappearing. No one is aware of this because of the limited communication. The story is going to focus on one particular group of people in Oregon or Washington state who were warned in advance by a government "traitor" and evacuated their town. But now I'm stuck. I don't have a good reason for why the government is doing this. Initially, I had considered something to do with shale reserves and fracking, perhaps the govt needed the oil but the people were opposed to it so they killed them all to get the resources (or some big company paid the govt)... But there's no big underground oil reserves in OR/WA so that's out. I could do something with other natural resources like timber or farmland but it doesn't seem to fit to kill people in cities for that... I could also do something with the Cascadia movement, say OR, WA, and BC were trying to break away from the USA and Canada respectively and the central govt were opposed to that but I'm not sure how I would frame that, nor what would trigger them to split off but make the govt want to keep them... Any ideas or just general comments on the plausibility of it all would be great. Also, if this sounds really cliched and overdone please be very blunt and tell me. Thank you!