Will Erin Brockovich Give The Money Back?

A truly shocking story showed up on the front page of the LA Extra section of the Los Angeles Times yesterday. See:


The story is shocking in two ways. First, it is shocking that the LA Times actually ran this story at all, as it is so contrary to their normal editorial bent. So kudos to the Times for a nice job.

Second, the story completely belies the saga of Erin Brockovich, pictured today. In essence, she extorted over $300 million from Pacific Gas and Electric Company, to compensate residents of the town of Hinkley (you know, sounds like “hinky”) for the increase in cancers supposedly caused by PG&E. It turns out that the cancer rate in Hinkley is actually 12.5 percent LESS than the level predicted by epidemiologist John Morgan’s team from the California Cancer Registry.

This really shouldn’t shock Followers of this blog, as we sought to clarify the matter of the “contaminant” in question — chromium — in a post last December. See:

This raises a number of serious questions:
Will Hollywood now produce a movie about the truth of the Hinkley story?
Will Julia Roberts apologize to PG&E?
Will Erin Brockovich give the money back?
Will the State of California stop making communities pay enormous sums to remove trivial amounts of innocuous chromium from the water supplies?

Let me save you a little time here: the answer to all of these questions is NO!

The power of the environmentalist movement is nearly boundless. They have succeeded in vilifying individuals, communities, and companies for alleged “crimes” against the environment. The result is that, in a State that has a current-year budget shortfall of nearly $1000 per resident, we continue to throw money at projects demanded by environmentalists, to solve problems that are grossly over-stated — or may not even exist, as we see in the Hinkley story.

Here’s another question for you: When will we stop listening to Hollywood and the environmentalists, and start applying real solutions to real problems?

For the sake of our State, I certainly hope that time is very soon.

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