activism Environment Jim Hightower

Elon Musk Wants to Dump Waste in a Community’s Water Source

The billionaire wants to dump waste in a community’s water source. Now the locals are fighting back.
Screenshot of Snailbrook, a proposed company town Elon Musk is building in Gastrop County, Texas

By Jim Hightower / OtherWords

There is nothing quite as pitiful as whiny billionaires. And the whiniest of all is the richest — Elon Musk. This self-entitled bully runs over anyone in his way, then whines when they protest.

Elon’s latest high-pitched screech was prompted by public demands that his profiteering schemes obey clean-water and safety regulations. He owns a corporation named (believe it or not) the Boring Company. It’s an underground tunneling venture based in Bastrop, Texas, digging out tons of soil, chemicals, and contaminated groundwater.

But where to put all the waste? I’ll just dump the stuff in the nearby Colorado River, said Lord Musk. Lots of stuff — 140,000 gallons of wastewater per day!

But that river is our main water source, said the locals — you’ll need to comply with water treatment and disposal rules. Outrageous, whined Elon, maniacally squealing that “Construction is becoming practically illegal” in America. So he proceeded to dump his waste without a permit.

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Then he encountered Chap Ambrose, a Boring neighbor and former Musk admirer.

Chap began asking questions and getting nothing but evasions, lies, and disrespect. Musk was messing with Texas, so Ambrose rallied local opposition through a website he named “Keep Bastrop Boring,” promoting it on a local billboard.

With a drone, he recorded Musk’s expanding industrial mess, broadcasting the videos throughout the area. He filed actions with county, state, and national regulatory authorities, and got his state senator to hold a hearing, attended by hundreds of residents in this rural county.

Musk can bamboozle powerful officials, but not feisty people like Chap, who recently ridiculed the pouty billionaire. “I’m sorry, neighbor,” Ambrose told him, “development remains legal in Bastrop, but what is illegal is polluting Texas water… You’re making this way harder than it has to be.”

The fight goes on — and I’m betting on Chap.

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Jim Hightower
Jim Hightower

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker.

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