Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said last week that he thought it was “plausible” that the Environmental Protection Agency purposefully caused a toxic spill in the Animas River in Colorado in order to establish a Superfund site.
Earlier this month, a crew working for the EPA to clean up an abandoned gold mine accidentally caused three million gallons of contaminated water to spill into the river. The Denver Post reported this weekend that a “theory has been making its way around town that the EPA purposefully caused” the spill in order to ensure that the area is designated as a Superfund site. That theory, based on a letter to the editor of a local paper that some say “predicted” the EPA conspiracy, has begun to get national attention, including from the website of Fox News.
Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson, who has a record of getting GOP figures to comment on right-wing conspiracy theories, asked King on Thursday about this “nasty, probably been better than average rumor” that is “past the rumor stage, it’s at the accusation stage, that the EPA may have polluted a river on purpose so that they could collect Superfund money.”
“I only saw the headline on that, so that’s all I know,” King responded, “but when you say this to me, what flashes through my mind is Fast and Furious, how plausible did that sound when it first emerged, and it sounded completely implausible and yet it turned out to be completely true. So I don’t want to make allegations about this particular incident, I certainly want to learn a lot more about it, and I will, but it’s plausible.”