Judging by the Denver Post’s summary of yesterday’s hearing on the EPA’s Animas River spill, we must have been watching a different event.

Their article described it as “more of a food fight than a debate, featuring Republicans generally blasting the agency and Democrats and the EPA angling to put the accident in perspective.”

No argument from us that Republicans were blasting away at the EPA for failing to adhere warnings a spill was imminent, failing to take precaution to prevent the spill while tearing down the blockade holding back the three million gallons of pollution, failing to notify downstream users in a timely manner, failing to tell us what was in the spill, censoring their own website to cover-up embarrassment … the list of failures went on and on.

But, we would argue that Democrats and the EPA were not trying to “put the accident in perspective,” rather the Dems were coddling bureaucrats trying desperately to shift the spotlight of blame from themselves.

Added U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada: “there is no real bad guy. We’re trying to fix something that’s been 100 years in the making.”


In the hearing we watched, the EPA used the two-hour session to proclaim they were taking responsibility and being transparent, while shifting blame and refusing to answer questions such as these:

  • The test results of the river immediately after the spill, not the samples taken ten days later.
  • Details of the work occurring before the spill and the cost associated with it.
  • Why President Obama refused to visit the region after the spill?
  • Why did they ignore warnings about the blowout and tear down the blockage?
  • Whether anyone has been held accountable?
  • Why Gina McCarthy was a no-show at the hearing?
  • What corrections have been made to notification procedures?

One question the EPA did answer – the agency says it is being just as transparent as BP was after the Deepwater Horizon spill.