The federal government has consulted with itself and determined it does not have to pay for damages it causes to the environment in the Animas River spill.

The ruling from Obama’s Justice Department regarding Obama’s EPA is that any government act that is discretionary and involves the exercise of judgment is protected, so claims totaling more than $1.2 billion for the disaster is not their problem.

The Colorado delegation says it can play that game too, and under the Trump administration will work to amend the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) to change that.

“When the law allows the government to hide from those whom it has harmed, the law must change,” says U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton says the government’s decision is a complete departure from their assurances after the disaster they would pay for their damages, which it is.

The government’s decision appears to be part of the final housekeeping before Obama leaves office this week, issuing regulations left and right to cripple the energy industry and in this case, protect itself from what it has been accusing said industry of for years, and that is polluting the environment.

Obama’s legacy is clear: Do as we say, not as we do.

Those with claims can appeal the Obama administration’s decision in federal court, and several have already announced plans to do so by the Feb. 8 deadline.

Except for the City of Durango. They’ve decided it is more important to keep a good relationship with the EPA, rather than hold it accountable. So, they city will just find another way to pay for nearly $400,000 it is owed.

“Our relationship with the EPA is important, and we have other issues coming up in the future, including the wastewater plant, and we want to preserve our relationship,” City Manager Ron LeBlanc said. “We respect their decision, and we’ll put this behind us.”

That just sounds to us like the city is afraid of EPA retaliation, like the EPA can’t be trusted. Perhaps they are right.