A New Mexico law firm has substantially lowered its claims for clients that wanted $1.2 billion in damages from the Gold King Mine spill caused by the EPA.

That means there are now $420 million in claims from farmers, recreation owners and residents, mostly down south, who say the EPA owes them money, the AP reports.

Then we get a little double-speak on whether the money might actually get paid, all speculation of course.

It’s uncertain whether the White House and Congress — both now controlled by the GOP — will pay for any of the economic losses, even though Republicans were among the most vocal in demanding the EPA make good on the harm.

Under former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, the EPA said it was prohibited by law from doing so.

Republicans have vowed to slash spending on the environment, leaving the prospects for compensation in doubt.

So Republicans were the most vocal in demanding the EPA pay up, but because the GOP is allegedly slashing spending on the environment compensation is in doubt?

That’s a bit of apples and oranges juggling, because the Republican White House is looking to scale back millions in lobbying spending on questionable climate change programs.

That has nothing to do with the environmental damage actually caused by the previous administration.

Our speculation is that individuals whose livelihoods were harmed by the government will see compensation. It’s a pretty stout amount though, and the recent subtraction of $900 million from a handful of New Mexico property owners shows the final number might still need some tweaking.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for that RSVP from the new EPA administrator to U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s invitation to come down here and meet with the folks himself and tour the mine to make the actual decision.