by Max Brantley
Here's a story from Channel 4 that deserves more attention.
It's a report of apparent illegal dumping of fracking sludge in seven locations in White County.
Has the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality fined anyone? It has not. It's working on the situation. The same for the Oil and Gas Commission.
Would it surprise you to learn that the company under investigation, Poseidon Energy Services, is a subsidiary of a company owned and run by Marcus Devine, the Huckabee-era director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Qualiity? Welcome to the Natural State.
This isn't the first pollution rodeo for Devine's company, by the way. Here's another.
Only a cynic would say this might raise questions about Devine's stewardship as the state's chief environmental regulator. He says, of course, that he's working to operate properly.
Devine has quite a resume. He is the minority partner in the Little Rock National Airport concessions business and a minority partner in a major airport construction project. His construction company also got a city demoliition contract before somebody finally realized the law prohibited him from getting this city work while also serving on the Planning Commission. Ultimately, city fathers moved heaven and earth to change the ethics law so people like Devine could have his city work and his city appointment, too. Devine got his airport concession work despite sharp criticism of his lack of experience in concessions and a past bankruptcy.