I’ve been told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the lone barrier that stands between us and the entire country being turned into an uninhabitable wasteland by greedy corporations that want to fill our lakes and rivers with industrial waste. But I’ve also been told that socialism can work so I don’t put a lot of weight into what others have told me. The EPA, as with most government agencies, doesn’t really do what its name implies. It doesn’t protect the environment so much as licenses pollution. When somebody is dumping waste into a body of water the EPA steps in and demands a little piece of the action in exchange for looking the other way. And if nobody is polluting a body of water the EPA steps in and does it:
DURANGO — A spill that sent 1 million gallons of wastewater from an abandoned mine into the Animas River, turning the river orange, set off warnings Thursday that contaminants threaten water quality for those downstream.
The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed it triggered the spill while using heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine, north of Silverton.
I know somebody reading this will feel the need to point out that the EPA didn’t do this on purpose, which I’m sure is true. That’s not the point. The point is the lack of recourse. When an individual or corporation dumps waste into a body of water people usually sic the EPA on them. But what happens in this case? Who watches the watchmen? Does the EPA sue itself and transfer some of its money to itself? Will another agency, maybe an oversight committee, step in to find the EPA and therefore transfer some of the state’s wealth from itself to itself?
Herein lies the problem. Then government, which is the biggest polluter, is held entirely unaccountable because it has declared a monopoly on environmental protection. As it has declared this monopoly for itself there is no way to hold it accountable because it’s in its best interest to not enforce its own laws against itself. And if anybody else tries to hold it accountable it attacks them for breaking the law.
The biggest failure of environmentalism is its reliance on the state. A state has no interest in protecting the environment, its interests lie in polluting it without consequence and getting a piece of any polluting action.