Why Aren’t the EPA’s Most Wanted Fugitives Labeled “Eco-terrorists”?

by Will Potter on March 30, 2009

in Government Priorities

EPA fugitives for environmental crimes.

EPA fugitives for environmental crimes.

The brilliance of the “Green Scare” and the War on Terrorism more broadly is how the government and corporations have twisted language to push a political agenda. When environmentalists put their bodies on the line to stop environmental destruction? That’s “eco-terrorism.” When corporations destroy the environment for personal gain? That’s just business as usual.

A great example of the hypocrisy is the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of fugitives charged with environmental crimes, including:

  • Installing a pipe behind a corporation in order to dump pollutants into a tributary of the Mississippi River.
  • Illegally dumping tons of oil-contaminated grain from a ship into the ocean.
  • Smuggling 105 thirty-pound cylinders of ozone depleting contraband.

Now, which is more worthy of receiving the “eco-terrorism” label? Crimes that indiscriminately put humans, animals and the environment at risk, for personal profit? Or narrowly-targeted actions (not all of which are even criminal) intended to stop environmental destruction?

Who do you think is the “eco-terrorist”: The tree sitter or Boise Cascade? The Earth Liberation Front or Monsanto? Tim DeChristopher or mining corporations? Earth First or General Motors?

We will never see the government use that term against people who pollute the environment, though. Why? Because environmental destruction doesn’t threaten political or corporate interests.

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