DURANGO, LA PLATA COUNTY, SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO — Yesterday, Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s profoundly anti-environmentalism Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, visited Colorado’s Gold King Mine, accompanied by the Centennial State’s Democratic Governor, John Hickenlooper (a neighbor of your solitary reporter); Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.); Sen. Cory Gardner (R.-Colo.); and Congressman Scott Tipton (R.-Colo.), who represents Colorado’s far-flung Third Congressional District. The Gold King Mine is in San Juan County in southwestern Colorado, just north of La Plata County. Because the Gold King Mine spill caused so much harm, Gardner and Tipton scheduled a Town Hall here in Durango yesterday afternoon.
In 2014, a Republican wave year, Gardner, then 40, impolitely sent then Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, 65, into retirement. Udall ran a poor, unfocused, tired campaign, while then-Congressman Gardner, who gave up a safe seat representing the Eastern Plains of Colorado, ran an upbeat campaign, cleverly messaging to Coloradans that he’s a moderate — which is demonstrably untrue. Gardner, a native of tiny Yuma, Colorado (population 3,524), is a boyish chipmunk disguised as a politician. Last year, he bravely marched in the annual Fourth of July Parade in Park Hill, where Gov. Hickenlooper lives. This year, he celebrated Independence Day in Yuma. Gardner is part of Team McConnell, so he voted for McConnellCare, which went down in flames because of the courage of Sens. John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins.
The Gold King Mine is the closed gold mine in San Juan County where EPA contractors, two years ago today, accidentally released lotsa water, which badly polluted the Animas River with gold-colored water, prompting havoc downstream in La Plata County and points west and south. Utah, New Mexico, and the Navajo Nation (Naabeehó Bináhásdzo) have filed suit against the EPA, seeking very substantial damages. The EPA is defending the lawsuits by claiming sovereign immunity.
Visiting the mine yesterday, Pruitt said that the EPA simply walked away from the spill.
At the time, NYSE CEO Sydney Williams III, the most gifted writer ever to run Wall Street, quipped that he had always thought the Yellow River was in China, not Colorado.
Turns out the audience at the Town Hall was much more interested in lambasting Gardner and Tipton for their pusillanimous stands on the failed GOP “Repeal and Replace” strategy, which would deny millions of vulnerable Americans of needed health care, than on the Gold King Mine’s disastrous spill (http://www.denverpost.com/2017/08/04/cory-gardner-angry-crowd-town-hall-gold-king/).
But as your solitary reporter observed, Pruitt, having slipped away to avoid the Town Hall, suddenly reappeared after Oklahoma’s senior U.S. senator, James Inhofe, the biggest climate change denier of ‘em all, texted him. Trying desperately to protect his fellow Republicans, Pruitt proclaimed himself to be as good an alchemist as he is a destroyer of the environment. After giving a speech consisting of exactly 666 words, Pruitt turned to your solitary reporter and turned him into gold. Hickenlooper and Bennet said they are in contact with the Red Cross to try to reverse the process so your solitary reporter can continue to report on all the news that didn’t happen.
All those fans of AP who would like to assist the Red Cross’ medical experts to bring your solitary reporter back to life are invited to send a check in any amount to Tom Korson, 5757 East 22nd Avenue, Denver, CO 80207-3901, with “Apocryphal Press” in the memo line.
All this took place as Trump’s National Economic Council chief guru, Gary Cohn, met in Washington trying to figure out how to cap the home mortgage interest deduction at $500,000, which will touch off a huge fight next month in Congress if Trump & Co. propose it (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/04/trump-homeowner-tax-benefit-241328). Associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones attended Cohn's meeting and noticed many crestfallen faces among real estate industry leaders, since Trump — who, if he knows anything at all, knows a thing or two about how to wheel and deal in real estate, had promised to preserve the home mortgage industry during his improbable campaign.