Folks on the Western Slope can rest easy now, as Front Range lawmakers have stepped up to save the day and right the wrongs of the EPA’s disastrous Animas River spill by giving the feds more power to wreak havoc.
Led by Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and his minions, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter, the trio has discovered a back door of sorts to Superfund. Branded as a means to provide financial compensation to those affected, what the bill would actually accomplish is the creation of a whole new government agency of bureaucrats, more red tape, and federal government intrusion more likely to slow the process than expedite it.
The bill “will ensure the EPA continues to work with local communities and tribes by requiring the agency to compensate those who were affected.”
Seriously? We need legislation to ensure the government does its job?
But that’s not the crux of the bill and what Democrats really want, which is to open the floodgates and give the EPA even more power by creating a census of abandoned mines “to identify the risk of future spills” in order to create more Superfunds. After the discovery during last week’s congressional hearings that the EPA doesn’t even employ mining engineers to conduct cleanup work, we are not exactly assured these new powers are warranted.
Plus, we know that a process is already in place to pay out damages because EPA cronies were scampering across Navajo Nation just days after the spill trying to cajole those affected to file their claims and waive their rights to a lawsuit.
By rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic claims’ process, it would take years for those affected to get paid while we wait for Congress to create and fund Bennet’s proposed Office of Gold King Mine Spill Claims.
And what happens after the EPA causes equal or greater damage at another site discovered through this new census? Does Congress need to create individual spill claim offices for each disaster?
Bennet’s bill was clearly not thought out, and is obviously intended to excite his Democratic base rather than actually help those actually affected by the government’s negligence. If Bennet thinks a new claims process would negate the intentions of the Navajo Nation to sue the EPA, he will be sorely disappointed.