Could the Flint water crisis have its origins in a desire to open up new areas of Michigan to fracking?

In July of 2014 I interviewed Flint attorney Alec Gibbs about the state takeover of Flint, why it happened, and the damage that, by that point, was already underway. It was a great discussion. And, because Gibbs got into a lot of depth not only about what had happened in Flint, but the history of the Emergency Manager law in Michigan, I find myself revisiting our conversation often. Well, when reading through it this afternoon, I found something interesting that I had’t noticed before. Toward the end of our interview, Gibbs mentions that the decision to move Flint off of Detroit water, and instead build a pipeline from Lake Huron, was likely made in part because Snyder and the Republicans wanted to bring water west from Lake Huron in order to service fracking operations along that route… Here’s what Gibbs had to say at the time.

alecpipeline

I’m not sure if there’s anything to it, but I think it’s an interesting thought to consider… What if Flint was taken over in part because certain powerful people wanted to have the KWA pipeline built, thereby opening up new areas to the water-intensive business of fracking? What if the entire Flint water crisis came about not just because the Snyder-appointed Emergency Manager saw an opportunity save money by transitioning away from Detroit water, but because word had been given that a pipeline had to be built? As far as conspiracy theories go, it’s a pretty compelling one… What do you think? Would it surprise you to learn that the children of Flint were ultimately poisoned because Snyder’s donors demanded that a pipeline be built to service their fracking operations?

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 2.59.45 PM

This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Corporate Crime, Environment, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

52 Comments

  1. anonymous
    Posted January 17, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    The only thing that would truly surprise me at this point is learning that Snyder and company made a decision based on what was best for Michigan’s children.

  2. Jennifer
    Posted January 17, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Mark,

    Thank you for your attention to this issue. I am writing quickly to ask how you can get this interview with Alec Gibbs up the media ladder ASAP. Tweeting? Facebook it to Flint activist groups? Don’t you have a connection to HuffPost? (Sorry to reveal myself as an utter social media naif). I had already pieced together for myself, between Michigan Radio and the amazing reporting at ACLU, most of what you tease out with regard to a coverup, but this possible fracking connection is totally new to me. (i know a person who is married to a person who writes for the New York Times….although not sure it’s the right kind of person…)

    I don’t have time for a full post about the ongoing conversation in the comments here at MM.com, but I would say that Rachel Maddow has possibly saved lives (or quality-of-lives, IQ points) in helping this issue break through to the national/international stage. Yes, I want to scream every time a non-Michigan journalist (or commenters on this site who should know better) says “the city of Flint decided….” and leaves out the crucial details about Emergency Management. And don’t forget, we the voters of Michigan repealed the EM law, only to have it re-legislated in that horrific lame duck session, with an appropriation attached, so we couldn’t repeal it all over again. I’m not sure what it means to accuse anyone of ‘playing politics” (as Pete Larson and Jean Henry have done) in this radical refusal of democracy.

  3. Dan
    Posted January 17, 2016 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    The new flint water line is following the existing DWSD pipeline right of way and the old line had tons of extra capacity. My guess was that DWSD would have had no problems in selling excess water for frackers. I think that the move away from DWSD and to join the new water authority was a sound one. The issue is that to save a few bucks the EM terminated the DWSD contract before the new pipeline is finished next year.

  4. Posted January 17, 2016 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Like I said, I don’t know how plausible it is. Given what Gibbs said to me a few years ago about the motivation behind the pipeline, and how things have gone since, though, I think it’s worth looking into more thoroughly.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted January 17, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s a great question, but don’t know enough to gage its veracity. In my experience, when prevailing business interests with chunky short term profit potential appear on the horizon, a lot of infrastructure can change quickly. This is exactly what I would hope would happen re alternative energy solutions, for example. And some people consider fracking a very practical short term effective climate action. (The marginal drop in US carbon emissions in the last few years is largely due to the natural gas boom.) And no I don’t support fracking. Not out of fear. It’s just under-regulated, in a boom that is really a bubble and it’s not the answer. I support nuclear energy even though I was in the evacuation zone for Three Mile Island. I like to evaluate risk/benefits. Fracking isnt worth it. But the money is good for some people, so opening up a giant water pipeline is something I could see being approved too quickly. For your position to qualify as conspiracy, in my mind, one would need to assume that the policy makers wanted to poison the people of Flint. People in policy look for what they see as win-wins. I’m sure that’s what they saw. In retrospect this was simply a disaster. I certainly never questioned that. They weren’t thinking of the best interests of the people of Flint but the best interests of business. That is epidemic not just in Flint but also in Ann Arbor right now. Which brings us around to my larger point in earlier threads as mentioned by Jennifer. My point was not about the excellent interview with Alec or any coverage that is really digging into the complexities of the issue and the history of it. In fact, I made a point of the necessity of vigilant watchdogs on the left looking at the full complexity of these issues and, especially, their history. I suggested that many liberals seemed more interested in attacking Snyder (prematurely asking for his arrest etc) than in helping the people of Flint or looking at the issue deeply, including systemic factors at play. Flint was is deep trouble before Snyder took office. And it’s a Democratic city. It’s not like it was some liberal paradise there before. And when the screw up wasnt on the GOP, we welathy liberals didnt care nearly as much about the city of Flint or its kids. That was my point and perhaps Pete’s. Children were poisoned. So were adults… It’s horrific. No one questions that. My basic question is whether calls for accountability include ourselves. I’m a lot less interested in seeing heads roll then in finding solutions, short and long term and in a thorough de-politicized review of what the hell happened– eventually. Meanwhile everyone in a position of influence in power in Flint and Statewide and everything that happens going forward should be closely monitored. If tha national spotlight, helps that happen and last, I’m happy for it.

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted January 17, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Apologies for the run-on post full of typos above. I was distracted. My cat hit enter, so there it is. Cat post.
    I should have just said that, when a tragedy happens, simple answers and scapegoats are not enough– and almost always not right. Hyperbole is not enough. Talking about failures of democracy can wait. The response that I believe honors the severity of the issue is measured, determined and humane.

  7. Peter Larson
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    I tend to not give much head time to liberal conspiracy theories but every conspiracy theory has some level of truth to it. Otherwise local bloggers wouldn’t write about them.

  8. Andy
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Here is an interesting article detailing how the Flint water crisis came about. Assuming the facts listed here are correct it sounds like both republicans and democrats had roles to play in creating this tragedy.

    http://gregbranchwords.com/2016/01/17/the-real-tragedy-in-flint/

  9. XXX
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    The fact that I’m willing to accept this as a possibility speaks volumes for just how fucked we are as a society.

  10. Lynne
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I hope this motivates people to demand more transparency from our state government. At the very least, I hope that the feds have access to all of our state records for their investigation of this situation. If fracking is a factor, they should be able to find it.

  11. Peter Larson
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I hope this invigorates the left to really stick it to the man.

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    #flintghazi “don’t let this die” has arisen among those on the left who are calling for Snyder’s arrest– with no sense of irony. I guess the ends justify the means.

  13. M
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Flintghazi is funny. I’ll give you that. I would argue, however, there’s a subtle difference. Nothing criminal happened in Benghazi, whereas there really was a cover-up in Flint. Our Governor knew that the people were being poisoned, and yet he did nothing.

  14. Lynne
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    If Snyder gets arrested, it will be awesome. Anyways, I don’t feel sorry for him one bit. If you don’t want the threat of arrest over your head, don’t poison kids. Simple.

  15. Marcia P. B.
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Excellent piece of journalism Mark Maynard — the big papers pretty much dropped the ball

  16. Posted January 18, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Actually the existing water line from Detroit Water is many miles south of the new water line. The existing line is also filled with filtered and chlorinated water, that would be very costly to use for fracking purposes. The new water line brings raw Great Lake Water all the way to Marathon Rd., right by the area they were talking about fracking on Washburn Rd.

  17. Posted January 18, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    If what you’re saying is correct, Mike, it sounds like there might be cause to look into this. Thanks for your comment.

  18. Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Is this the Mark Maynard that I saw grow up in Mayville Mich? If so do you facebook?

  19. Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, John, I’ve never been to Mayville. There are a lot of Mark Maynards in the world. I’m just the one who bought the url…. Good luck finding the Mark Maynard you watched grow up.

  20. craig
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    I was banned from facebook for posting this on other sites. Why?

  21. MJVB
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Can I set one thing straight.

    Detroit cut off Flint because Flint would not sign a 30 year contract that gave all the power to Detroit for Flint’s Water. Flint was seeing double digit inflation for the past 10 years from Detroit as Detroit used its formula for pumping water which removes their costs for all lines 12 inch or larger and puts it on the municipalities that are further away from the center of Detroit. That way Detroit residents keep their water rates low and why Flint’s water costs are so high.
    Detroit charged 10 million dollars to open a valve and ramp up a plant that they had to ramp down when they shut Flint off. Another grab for money. And Detroit still sets whatever rate they want to sell the water to Flint. Way above what they sell the water to the people in Detroit.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I would hope that any investigation will reveal the complexity of factors leading to this atrocity and the number of people being neglectful or corrupt in concert to create it. Because people, even those who care about the fate of the poor in that abstract, can still be neglectful of them — especially when their work serves them, especially when it’s hard work to serve them. It’s nice to have someone to blame for institutional failures, but it’s not like the people of Flint were being served well before by Dems or the GOP. People care less when there is no political target at the center. If this had happened under Granholm, I wonder what the response among liberals would be? Less strident maybe, but for sure calling for a full review and accountability. The few local Republicans I know are saying just that.

  23. lewis(Bill) Dickens
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    The Big Press dropped the Ball???

    NOT AT ALL

    THEY ARE COMPLICIT.!

  24. lewis(Bill) Dickens
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    NOW THEY ARE TRYING TO JAW JACK OUT OF IT.

  25. Posted January 19, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    [i]And Detroit still sets whatever rate they want to sell the water to Flint. Way above what they sell the water to the people in Detroit.[/i]

    It makes good sense for DWSD to charge Flint (and other inland / uphill) customers more for the cost of getting water to them than Detroit customers. To sell water in Flint, Detroit has to pump it 60-some miles inland and 180 feet uphill from thir Lake Huron treatment plant. The very highest-elevation Detroiters are only 100 feet uphill from the Detroit River (and most are much lower–it’s a pretty flat city), and the very furthest Detroiters are about 9 miles from the DWSD water treatment plants.

    What happened in Flint is an atrocity, but I don’t think the blame should be placed on Detroit residents “not paying enough” for their water relative to other DWSD customers.

  26. Demetrius
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    As much as this is a tragedy for the people (and especially children) in Flint, this is just an extreme example of the State’s failure (under the leadership of both parties) to develop any kind of kind of comprehensive strategy to promote sustainable local governments – especially older, urban cities and school districts.

    More than 25 years ago, Michael Moore’s film “Roger and Me” detailed the systematic de-industrialization and decimation of Flint – which at the time was just an extreme example of what was going on in other communities across Michigan.

    Now, an increasing number of (mostly poor, mostly minority) Michigan communities and school districts have been pushed by State policies (or the lack thereof) into financial ruin – and into the arms of so-called “Emergency Managers” who propose to bring “business experience” to running public entities.

    I believe Flint is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of problems we will see in the years ahead related to the forty-year-long (well-funded, organized) campaign of promoting private, for-profit, “lean,” “trickle-down” authoritarian methods over public, non-profit, abundant, equitable, democratic approaches.

  27. Mike Connell
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    The new pipeline parallels Fisher Road and is precisely six miles north of Detroit’s 10-foot main, which parallels Metcalf Road. The Detroit line was designed to supply water to nuclear power plants in Greenwood Township. In the wake of the Three Mile Island accident, Detroit Edison instead built a single gas-fired plant in Greenwood. That plant rarely needs Detroit water, and the 10-foot main has never been used to even half of its capacity. Flint actually planned a Lake Huron pipeline in the 1960s, before Detroit laid its pipeline, but the Flint project ended in a highly publicized scandal over graft. The Democratic machine in Genesee decided to build its pipeline during the Granholm administration because it was weary of being ripped off by the Democratic machine in Wayne County, where Kwame Inc. was using Detroit Water as its personal ATM. Granholm and Snyder both signed off on the Flint water line, even though the ROI never made sense. Detroit was ripping off Genesee customers by maybe $12 million a year. Well, how many years will it take to get a return on a half-billion-dollar investment? The math never made sense. Michigan is controlled by two feckless political parties, both of them drive by greed and stunningly incompetent. What we do not have in this state is adult supervision. There is no grownup in Lansing with the muscle or the wish to protect the public interest. This tragedy in Flint happened because it is what we as voters deserve.

  28. Joe
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I have no idea if what you’re saying is true, but Mark’s post above makes me believe you could be onto something.

    No matter what, more of Snyder’s cronies will now share in the $1.5 B that they estimate it will take to fix this problem. Maybe THAT’s why this water crisis has happened…

  29. Jay
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    would it be less cost to move all the people living in Flint to a different place or re-plumb the entire city with non-lead pipes?
    Answer: Depends who pays for what
    Sounds like they wanted to make living there intolerable…

  30. Mike Connell
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Here is the link to a column I wrote for the Port Huron paper a year ago: http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/opinion/columnists/2015/01/31/mike-connell-michigan-put-adult-charge/22655229/

  31. Emjay
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I am a Flint Resident. Fracking sounds very much like the tool from the tools. If Granholm was in office, and this happened on her direction we would be saying #arrestgovgranholm and not Snyder. However, this happened on HIS watch. Unfortunately, in my opinion it is a play to have the people move out of this area. Look at the #masterplan this city becomes a desolate farm land ….easy to frack there…..everything is being built outside of city limits, with the exception of downtown. The people there are just in the way of Snyder’s big plans. They moved the schools out, poisoned the kids and elderly, closed businesses that were necessities to survive for Flint residents and raised commodities. Sounds like a #masterplan to me. Here ye, Here ye….the new Carter, Darby, Wade, Catsman

  32. Emjay
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Furthermore, when you are not directly involved you can scream ALL day about how it seems like “blah, blah, blah” to arrest Snyder. However, when you have seen the water brown, boil water advisories, and your kid has been sick because he/she took a shower…..and you have to brush your teeth, wash your dishes, clean your house, bathe in bottled or gallon water……have you? Has your hair fallen out? Has your mother not been able to light a candle in her household because she is now allergic to everything that smells, have you had to wash your hair with bottled water, not let your kids drink from the fountain at school when he’s in gym, go into a school where the water fountains are taped, took a shower at a friends-out of the city limits, I could go on….but, have you? Just a thought for all “liberals” which was founded on liberty and equality (ha!) and all republicans alike…..How many bottles of bottled water does it take to fill a standard bathtub for your elderly family member? When you can answer this question, then we can have a REAL discussion! Until then…you opinion-ized non Flint water recipients and residents should shut your trap.

  33. Posted January 19, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing that link, Mr. Connell. It’s appreciated.

    And thank you, everyone else, for your comments.

  34. Tw
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I admit I didn’t read the whole article, and perhaps there is more to it but fracking isn’t part of it. Look at the distribution of high volume fracked wells in Michigan and there are really none in this area. As the price of crude has fallen over the last several years the oil and gas industry has pretty much collapsed.

  35. Donna
    Posted January 20, 2016 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    First, I think our Governor deserves some prison time. The is the man who simply could not live in the Governor’s mansion in Lansing and instead commuted daily from his gated community in Ann Arbor instead. And we’re wondering what responsibility he bears for the children in Flint being poisoned and suffering permanent brain damage. I do because he either heard about the problem and decided to put it on the back burner OR he heard about it and thought sending 100’s of small plastic water in bottles would fix it. I know this is a minor point, but it there some reason no one thought of sending large “office style” jugs of clean water???????????????? Also, we need to offer compensation for all the future medical problems, and we can begin my cleaning out Snyder’s accounts…How much should each person impacted with lead poisoning be compensated for a lifetime of limited earnings?

  36. liberal
    Posted January 21, 2016 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    It is hard to believe that they could ignore all of the brown water that was being taken to dozens of meetings when they switched over… I wish they would have made the men in charge drink at least a gallon of it in public so that everyone could have enjoyed the same fate…

  37. Peter
    Posted January 23, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Where is the evidence that this part of Michigan is “targeted” for high volume fracking? All the interest in fracking has been east of Traverse City and has been a bust. Encana left after it drilled a handful of wells and did not find the play worth more investment. And why would they need a giant water pipeline? Why wouldn’t they just tap into groundwater near the site of these supposed frack jobs?

  38. Michael
    Posted January 23, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    This is very interesting. I live about 900 feet from the water line That is in construction and the oil corporation has informed land Owners that we live over a very large oil field, and have signed land leases with the large property owners.

  39. Rachel
    Posted January 23, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I just came across this in Motor City Muckraker:

    “The Flint water crisis that led to thousands of people being poisoned began because state officials maintained it would save the cash-strapped city money by disconnecting from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) and using a different source.

    But it turns out, DWSD offered the state-controlled city a deal that would have saved Flint more money by staying with Detroit.

    An e-mail obtained by Motor City Muckraker shows the deal would have saved the city $800 million over 30 years, which was 20% more inexpensive than switching to the Karegnondi Water Authority…

    Some have suggested that Snyder was motivated by a desire to break up DWSD and ultimately privatize it. In the summer of 2015, DWSD was split into two entities: the DWSD and the Great Lakes Water Authority.”

    Link: The Flint water crisis that led to thousands of people being poisoned began because state officials maintained it would save the cash-strapped city money by disconnecting from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) and using a different source.

    But it turns out, DWSD offered the state-controlled city a deal that would have saved Flint more money by staying with Detroit.

    An e-mail obtained by Motor City Muckraker shows the deal would have saved the city $800 million over 30 years, which was 20% more inexpensive than switching to the Karegnondi Water Authority.

  40. Rachel
    Posted January 23, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, failed to paste the link: http://motorcitymuckraker.com/2016/01/23/gov-snyder-lied-flint-water-switch-was-not-about-money-records-show/

  41. Posted January 24, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Coincidentally, there’s a waste treatment facility just east of Hamtramck that’s expanding. They plan to treat a much larger quantity of fracking waste.

  42. Lara
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I left this comment on FB, but I’ll leave it here, too: Sara Wurfel, who is the wife of former MDEQ spokesman Brad Wurfel, strangely quit the governor’s office smack dab in the middle of the water crisis (November 2015). Where does she go with the governor’s blessing? Truscott Rossman, a PR firm. Who do they represent? Energy clients. Big ones. Here’s a SUPER FUN article where Brad Wurfel, her husband, is quoted as agreeing with Truscott Rossman, saying on behalf of the MDEQ that fracking is super safe and doesn’t pollute groundwater. I have my tinfoil hat on, folks. This is a conspiracy in spades. http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130415/NEWS/130419889/oil-and-gas-industry-making-case-against-anti-fracking-ballot-proposal

  43. Jim
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Another, even more detailed, Flint water crisis timeline:
    http://www.freep.com/pages/interactives/flint-water-crisis-timeline/

  44. Alec Gibbs
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    I think that fracking is definitely something that needs to be investigated. There were clearly ulterior considerations at play here, and there has to be some reason that the state took such an interest in Karegnondi. There has to be some reason why the PAC for Miller Canfield, the firm that handled the bond transactions (I think they were counsel for the underwriters) and represented Flint against retirees and has a CEO who DRAFTED the EM law, has to be a reason that this firm gave like 4,000 dollars at least to Jeff Wright’s election campaign in 2012 I believe it was. One of the largest donations (the other large donations are from firms that stood to benefit from the pipeline construction contracts). And you have major lease auctions by the DNR just a few months after the switch, selling off 200 acres of oil and mineral rights in Genesee County and over 8,000 acres in Lapeer county, in addition to the wells that are drilled but I still think inactive in Sanilac County. Maybe it isn’t for fracking itself, but there must be some sort of monetization at play here, above and beyond the construction contracts and the bondholder interests.

  45. Peter Larson
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    At best, exploring this conspiracy will just be an academic exercise.

    It will change nothing at all.

  46. Candy
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the article Mark. It has definitely given me something to think about these past few days. Today I was thinking of GM and the 80s and decided to brush up on my Flint history. I did a quick wikapedia scan and something kind of fishy caught my eye.
    “In November 2013, American Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPCO), a Birmingham, Alabama based company, became the first to build a production facility in Flint’s former Buick City site purchasing the property from the RACER Trust.[27]”
    You might think whoopty do, until you realize what this plant makes.
    “AMERICAN SpiralWeld Pipe Company, LLC was established as a division of AMERICAN in 1999. AMERICAN SpiralWeld, located on a 150-acre (0.61 km2) site in Columbia, South Carolina, manufactures spiral-welded steel pipe for use in WATER , WASTEWATER, HYDROPOWER, and INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS. In 2013, AMERICAN announced a new spiral-welded pipe production facility in Flint, Michigan. The facility is slated to begin operations in 2015.”

    So how ironic is it that just as Flint is about to think about replumbing main lines they just miraculously have a plant making pipes. How coincidental is it that if you need fracking pipes you can get them in Flint?

  47. honeyrose
    Posted January 27, 2016 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Can I chip in from the UK. We have had a number of comparable incidents over the years of which the most relevant is probably The Camelford Water Pollution Incident in 1988.

    Summarised, due to lax procedures a lorry driver accidentally discharged a load of aluminium into the water supply of Camelford, a small town in the south west of England. The plant which supplied the water was run by a regional water authority,South West Water.

    (Historically the water supply for the UK was state owned and run by regional authorities. The recently elected Conservative government had decided to privatise it and sell it into the private sector, as part of its ideological commitment to reducing state ownership of utilities, to avoid having to invest in its ageing infrastructure and at the same to swell government coffers. This was a highly controversial decision and remains so today.)

    At first the water authority covered the incident but faced with blue water coming out of the taps, they had to acknowledge the contamination. The local population was angry and afraid but the water authority said the water was safe to drink. The residents, who were not unemployed or impoverished, were not satisfied. So the government set up an inquiry and found some elderly academic, who frankly must have lost some of her faculties, to run it. She also declared there were no long term harmful effects and said the detractors were hysterical.

    The problems did not go away as health professionals found evidence of health defects among residents. (And continue to do so.). Some years down tbe line it emerged there had been, if not an actual cover up, then at the very least a determined effort by centrsl government at the highest level to downplay the seriousness of the incident in order not to negatively impact the imminent privatisation of the water authorities.

    This pattern of concealment, followed by denial, followed by rubbishing local people and academics who investigate and record the actual facts, is typical in the UK. In the case of Camelford, it was compounded by central government’s immediate priority which was to create a positive spin around the sell off of the water utilities. The economic and ethnic background of the victims was irrelevant. (In this case they were white and a mixed community of middle class professionals and working people).

    If you want to read about it. I have out the link here
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camelford_water_pollution_incident

  48. Lisa Patrell
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    http://bit.ly/1QwgMjM Motor City Muckracker has evidence from DWSD official to support your suspicion

  49. Posted January 30, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s just come to my attention that traffic is way up. It would appear that William Rivers Pitt has mentioned this post in one of his Truth Out op-eds. If it’s anything like the time we made it to the front page of Reddit, it won’t translate to many more comments, but I just wanted to let you know that tens of thousands of people may potentially be looking at this thread. So please double check your spelling and punctuation before posting. We want to make a good impression.

  50. Simone Lightfoot
    Posted February 2, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Outstanding share! This onion continues to have soooo many layers…..

  51. Posted February 15, 2016 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    The Metro Times is mentioning fracking as a possible motivation for KWA as well.

    frak2

  52. Jim
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/flint-water-crisis/2016/05/11/did-state-give-flint-break-its-water/84238120/

12 Trackbacks

  1. By You Have To Break Their Legs | Blog for Iowa on January 23, 2016 at 11:00 am

    […] greed has led to the point where people are dying from drinking municipal water. Maynard also has updated pieces on Flint at his blog. […]

  2. […] have suggested that Snyder wanted to start fracking operations along a new […]

  3. […] Background here […]

  4. […] have suggested that Snyder wanted to start fracking operations along a new […]

  5. […] Water Authority, is to provide water to the frack industry. This first came up in a blogpost “Could the Flint water crisis have its origins in a desire to open up new areas of Michigan to… and it’s been repeated in other reporting, such as Motor City Muckraker and […]

  6. […] to undermine the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department so he could ultimately privatize it. Others suggest his motivation was founded in a desire to open up new areas for fracking. The governor has made no […]

  7. […] to undermine the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department so he could ultimately privatize it. Others suggest his motivation was founded in a desire to open up new areas for fracking. The governor has made no […]

  8. […] UPDATE: Meg Bones on Facebook linked me to this, which could very well tie these completely together: […]

  9. By Was the road to Flint paved by frackers? on February 16, 2016 at 10:33 am

    […] attorney Alec Gibbs had told me back in 2014 about the possible origins of the KWA pipeline. “Could the Flint water crisis have its origins in a desire to open up new areas of Michigan to fracki…,” I asked. And, since then, I’ve been the recipient of a good many emails on the […]

  10. […] But what is the Snyder ALEC agenda, why would they be so determined to  to move Flint off  Detroits water, and instead build a pipeline from Lake Huron? It sounds like the motivation could well be Fracking […]

  11. […] to serve fracking wells in counties through which the pipeline ran from Lake Huron to Flint (see here and here). I would love to know if anybody has FOIA’d documents from the state, Flint, and […]

  12. […] But what is the Snyder ALEC agenda, why would they be so determined to move Flint off Detroit’s water, and instead build a pipeline from Lake Huron? It sounds like the motivation could well be fracking: […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Connect

Sidetrack ad Aubree’s ad BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative Manchurian Candidate Banner