Call me a Greenie but I like the environment and I like it to be clean. I like to hike, fish, camp, and swim in an environment that isn t polluted with high levels of deleterious chemicals like heavy metals and industrial waste.
And I'd really like to not have the Environmental Protection Agency doing the polluting.
I am not just picking on the EPA when I am outraged at them dumping toxins all over the place. I was infuriated with Walmart when they had to pay almost 30 million in fines for dumping pollutants into our water supplies. I was infuriated because we are all stewards of this land and that includes businesses both big and small. We must do what we can to keep it safe and clean, and when someone acts irresponsibly we should be able to rely on our Government to hold them accountable. Unfortunately for us, this means relying on the EPA, which has apparently adopted What would the Three Stooges do? as their agency motto when it comes to environmental stewardship in Colorado.
Yesterday, The EPA announced that some of its regulators working in Colorado dumped a million gallons of orange waste water containing sediments and metals into the Animas river. In their defense the machinery they were working with was described as heavy so there s that. Oh, and they said it was an accident. The companies responsible for Love Canal in the 1970s probably didn't realize they could use that as an excuse.
If a company had done it, there would be Congressional hearings and fines and calls to action, but a spokesman for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife said there s nothing that can be done to stop the heavy flow of contaminated water from devastating the environment. Local experts expect the spill to have catastrophic effects on the fish and wildlife of the area but humans are also at danger too. Officials are warning all downstream residents to avoid any and all water activities and to use water sparingly until the issue is resolved.
If this spill was caused by some big business entity (except maybe bullet-proof Apple) Neil Young would have already written an album about how the CEOs deserve a life sentence in prison; GreenPeace would be staging die-ins for the fallen fish; Barbara Boxer would ve been on the house floor crying for the citizens who had to drink tainted water; the Natural Resources Defense Council would ve been adding to their hundred of millions of dollars in the bank to pay their lobbyists and lawyers to make sure the evil company never makes another dime; The outrage would ve been so palatable not even the current clown car of Republican candidates would ve been able to avoid condoning it.
I could go on ad nauseum, but I think you get my point.
By all accounts it was an accident, but so what? Deepwater Horizon was an accident, BP did not do it on purpose, but they did not get out of paying their 20 billion dollar fine by playing the accident card in the Gulf of Mexico. Worse, their apology was mocked and the company was vilified then and still is. Union Carbide couldn't shrug their shoulders and say "accident" about Bhopal either.
The EPA and its leaders should be held accountable the same way.