What you may already know: Freedom Industries, a coal-industry surrogate in West Virginia, dumped poison into the water supply known as the Elk River, waited 24 hours to tell anyone about it, waited even longer to mention that they had also dumped a second poison into the water supply, and then declared bankruptcy so as to make themselves judgment-proof in civil court against the hundreds of thousands of people who couldn't eat or work or bathe or cook for weeks...and this was all before the stuff they dumped into the river evaporated into formaldehyde, which it does, so everyone who couldn't eat or bathe or cook for weeks was suddenly eating and cooking and bathing in a whole different poison, this one being a known carcinogen...but they're bankrupt now, so screw you and your tumors.
What you may not yet know, but need to: Gary Southern, President of Freedom Industries, gave a press conference the day after the spill was announced, and did yeoman's work to ensure himself a first-ballot nomination into the Bastard's Hall Of Fame.
Described afterward in various publications as "rude," "arrogant" and "dismissive," Southern tried several times to call the whole thing off - at one point complaining that he'd "had a long day" - before capping off his performance by taking a deep swig of bottled water right on camera, the very thing residents of the community were desperate for at that moment. Call it the 21st century version of "Let them eat cake."
That was the last we saw of Mr. Southern and his refreshingly unpolluted beverage. When members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee traveled to West Virginia on Monday to try and ascertain just what the hell is going on down there, Gary Southern and Freedom Industries blew them off completely. Representatives from the US Chemical Safety Board went to the meeting, as did members of the state's Department of Environmental Protection. Even people from West Virginia American Water, the organization highly criticized for its handling of the situation, showed up.
The actual people who actually put poison into the water supply for hundreds of thousands of people? Absent.