After dumping millions of gallons of polluted mining water into a clean river the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) performed a quick investigation and decided it won’t suffer any punishment:
DENVER — Unlike BP, which was fined $5.5 billion for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the EPA will pay nothing in fines for unleashing the Animas River spill.
“Sovereign immunity. The government doesn’t fine itself,” said Thomas L. Sansonetti, former assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s division of environment and natural resources.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and other lawmakers have called on the EPA to hold itself to the same standards as it would a private company in the aftermath of Wednesday’s accident, in which an EPA-led crew uncorked a 3 million-gallon spill of orange wastewater from the abandoned Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado.
However, “The EPA does not fine itself the way that you would fine an outside company like BP,” said Mr. Sansonetti, who served from 2001 to 2005 under President George W. Bush.
OK, I was joking about it performing an investigation. But this harkens back to what I said yesterday. Depending on the state to protect the environment is foolhardy because it has no incentive to actually protect the environment. When a company violates its regulations it merely demands a piece of the action in the form of fines. And when it violates its own regulations is declares “sovereign immunity,” just like a “sovereign citizen” would, and says it may pay the cost of cleanup and compensation for damages but only if Congress appropriates money for it:
What the EPA can be expected to cover is the cost of the cleanup and compensation for the damage caused, funding that would have to be appropriated by Congress, meaning that the taxpayers will foot the bill.
“That’s going to have to be appropriated because that sort of thing is not included in the EPA’s budget,” said Mr. Sansonetti, now a Denver attorney.
Not only will the agency go unpunished but it won’t even have to pay the costs out of its budget! Consider this fact what motivation does the EPA have to protect the environment? It seems like the agency wins whenever the environment is polluted. If a private entity pollutes a river the EPA enjoys a cash payment and if it pollutes a river it does nothing unless it receives additional money from Congress to fix its fuck up.
Go ahead statists, explain to me how the state is necessary to protect the environment after this fiasco. I could use a good laugh.