UPDATE SNARK ALERT: This post is satire. I apologize to folks who got caught off guard. Sorry for the confusion.
DANVILLE, VA -- With toxic sludge blanketing the river as far as the eye could see, North Carolina's environmental boss, John Skvarla, guided his showboat through the coal-ash hell that is the Dan River.
"I've never seen anything like this," he said, shaking his head in disgust. "And I'm sad to say, it only serves to prove my point. Government can't do anything right. All the regulations and inspections we have in place? They simply don't work. We need to privatize this river and let the free market do its thing. Somebody is going to get rich cleaning this mess up."
The Dan River coal-ash spill is only the latest water-quality crisis to hit North Carolina's rivers and streams. Earlier this week, a Division of Water Resources report said dozens of state waterways are impaired, including 14 in New Hanover County alone.
"When you are seeing water quality impacted, when you are seeing us not being able to fish, swim in our waterways, it's going to impact our economy, our tourism, our quality of life," said Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette.
"That simply goes to prove my point," said DENR Secretary Skvarla. "We've had regulations in place to protect our water for decades, and they simply haven't worked. What more evidence do we need to cut things loose and let the free market shine? Polluted rivers mean big profits for private water companies."
During his Dan River visit, Skvarla was asked about rumors of plans to privatize DENR, similar to what is happening with the Department of Commerce. "I'd be lying if I told you we weren't talking about it," he said. "We're envisioning a public-private consortium run by Duke Energy and Titan Cement. Those two companies know everything there is to know about how to degrade air and water quality, and they know exactly where there's profit to be made."