Gold King Mine owner says the EPA raped him, reports Durango Herald

Gold King Mine owner Todd Hennis told The Durango Herald that the Environmental Protection Agency committed “an act of rape” against him.

Rape metaphors have come under fire in recent years for minimizing sexual assault. Which brings up questions.

Such as, was Hennis raped by the EPA, as he claims? Clearly not.

Or was his experience with the government agency as horrific as sexual assault and worth describing that way despite a risk of minimizing the experiences of rape survivors?

As he tells it, yes.

“I don’t mean to denigrate women who’ve gone through it, and for that matter, some men, but it’s been such an ugly penetrative act on an unwilling victim,” the Golden-based mine mogul told Herald reporter Jonathan Romeo.

Hennis’ name calling, reported by The Herald, doesn’t end there. He also described workers for the agency as “Nazis,” “the mafia” and “thugs.”

No doubt, Nazi and thug metaphors have also fallen out of favor. Critics say the first minimizes the Holocaust and the second is downright racist.

But for Hennis, the EPA warrant the comparisons. From The Herald:

“These thugs just went in and took it over, and then told me we’re not going to settle, screw you, we’re on your land, and if you don’t like it, we’ll go to federal court because you’re not cooperating.

That’s the same cooperation the Nazis expected from the people getting off the trains.”

Actually, it’s not. Hennis is still alive. And, as the article states, the property he owns north is Silverton is still worth “what he estimates (as)…considerable sum.”

What’s the context for these wild accusations? The EPA’s response to the spill that in August shot millions of gallons of toxic waste into the Animas River, turning it into a mustard-colored soup.

Hennis told The Herald that for 14 years he had tried to get the EPA to clean up the mess at his mine. He wasn’t surprised when he learned that a crew contracted by the agency triggered the devastating spill.

“But when I saw the pictures, I just felt my life was over. I just thought, ‘Oh God, what did they do?”

The EPA intended to cause the spill, he said, to rally support from the community to designate his property a Superfund site — a claim that seems about as well founded as his belief that he was raped by the mafioso Nazi thugs who work for the agency.


Photo credit: Eric Vance/EPA


  1. These are interesting quotes that are so apt regarding the toxic trespass of the oil and gas and mining industries:
    Their highly toxic chemicals get breathed in by nearby residents out raking their leaves or playing in their yards, and assault their neurological, cardiovascular, endocrine, reproductive systems, and even the DNA that they will pass on to the next generation…it’s like respiratory rape by the oil and gas companies.. or, in the words of the Gold King Mine owner, an “ugly penetrative act on an unwilling victim.”
    For more on the dangerous threats that the EPA poses to all of us, check out Kris Kitko’s song,The EPA Eats Babies:

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