Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mind-boggling toxic hypocrisy at WUWT over Gold King Mine and EPA

Sou | 1:24 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment
You have to read it to believe it. Anthony Watts and Paul Driessen have an article at WUWT (archived here) in which they castigate the EPA for an accidental spill of toxic water from Gold King Mine into waterways in Colorado. Now who or what is to blame for that particular incident is a good question. But that's not what I am writing about.

The point of this article is that both Paul and Anthony are often posting articles where they don't want any environmental regulations. In which they want to send America back to the smog age. They don't give a damn that toxic waste from mining operations accumulated to such an extent that this accident occurred. All they care about is trashing the people who have come in to try to contain or clean up the mess that the grossly negligent miners left behind.

Nowhere in the WUWT article or the comments is there any finger pointing at the companies and people that caused the water to get so toxic in the first place. Nowhere is there a call for companies and people to be held responsible for toxic dumps.

No, it's all about how it's all the fault of the Environmental Protection Agency - the very agency that is trying to do something to clean up the mess left behind by the mates of the anti-environment brigade.

Such gross hypocrisy and double standards is mind-boggling, but is all too common at denier blogs and on anti-regulation websites.

You can read another version of what happened in an article by Alan Prendergast on westword.com.


  1. Willard's article is grotesquely unfair to the EPA. First, as has been pointed out in many places there are hundreds of abandoned mines in CO leaking pollutants into waterways and they have been for many decades. When I was a mere youth on a backpacking trip in southwestern CO, not far from Durango in face, we were warned about drinking water from small streams we crossed because many of them contained high levels of arsenic leached from abandoned mines. Here in MT, we have hundreds of small streams which do not meet water quality standards because of waste from abandoned mines.

    A decent backgrounder was published in High Country News (really a rather decent source of coverage for environmental issues in the US West) a couple of days ago:


    It does a good job of explaining how this whole sorry mess happened.

    1. BTW, this really is a shame. I've spent a fair amount of time (a couple of summers on multi week backcountry trips, ski vacations, and a couple of summer vacations) in this area. It is really wonderful country, and you really must do the train trip from Durango to Silverton along the Animas. One of my favorite parts of the Rockies.

    2. I grew up in Montana, and have a deep deep appreciation for the pristine areas where it is still possible to go backpacking and not worry about if you are being poisoned from the water that surrounds you.
      The Butte superfund area is an absolute mess too, i always dreaded driving through that area.
      It *must* be the EPAs fault there is a toxic lake there, it would have been much better to just let it soak back into the aquifers. Then the EPA just wouldnt be necessary. /sarc

  2. I await the 'we have the EPA, and look, there are still these terrible spills, so let's just abolish the EPA and the regulations' reasoning with keen anticipation.

    Because, after all, if you subsitute as follows: EPA = police, spills = murders, regulations = laws, the argument makes just as much sense.

  3. So WUWT is an anti-environmentalist. No surprise really.

  4. The HCN article is a good summary. This event could have happened without any intervention from EPA's contractor and the next event like this could happen with or without EPA or any other agency involvement tomorrow or 10 years from now. Who knows?

    The reality is there are dozens and dozens of sites like this throughout the western US. They're expensive to inventory, characterize, monitor and remediate.


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