W. Virginia Chemical Spill NOT Georgia-Pacific, Blog Retracts

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(Credit: DeSmogBlog, screenshot)

Eastman Chemical — NOT Georgia-Pacific — produced the chemical polluting the water in West Virginia, according to a recent retraction.

De Smog Blog got the two companies mixed up and had to publish a full retraction and apology on Jan. 13. DeSmogBlog is an eight-year-old blog focused on “global warming misinformation campaigns.” It notes on its website that it was listed among Time magazine’s “25 Best blogs of 2011.”

The chemical MCHM spilled from Freedom Industries into the Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia. Approximately 300,000 people lost “access to safe tap water,” ABC News reported, and both the federal government and West Virginia called it an emergency.

Brendan DeMelle, the site’s executive director and managing editor, told iMediaEthics that Georgia-Pacific didn’t ask for the retraction, and that the retraction was “self-explanatory.”

“The mix-up was pointed out by one of our readers and immediately verified and retracted,” he wrote. “While Georgia-Pacific does supply Freedom Industries, this particular incident involved its other supplier, Eastman Chemical.”

The original DeSmogBlog article has been unpublished, but according to a Google search, it was headlined “Revealed: Koch Brothers’ Georgia-Pacific Supplied Chemical Contaminating West Virginia River.” See below a Google search result:

DeSmogBlog has unpublished its article saying Georgia-Pacific supplied the chemical, but a Google Search result still produces the story’s headline.


The retraction reads in full:

“DeSmogBlog regrets the incorrect claims made in an article published late Sunday night regarding the origins of the chemical spilled into the Elk River in West Virginia. The piece incorrectly asserted that the chemical was produced by Georgia-Pacific. In fact, it was produced by Eastman Chemical. DeSmogBlog sincerely regrets the error and has retracted the piece.”

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W. Virginia Chemical Spill NOT Georgia-Pacific, Blog Retracts

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