Should oil companies regulate pollution producing activities of the EPA?



By any standard, the catastrophe produced by the EPA on the Animas River is tremendous.

...since Wednesday, the Animas has been grievously polluted with toxic water spilled from one of the many abandoned mines that pockmark the region — a spill for which the Environmental Protection Agency has claimed responsibility, saying it accidentally breached a store of chemical-laced water.

On Sunday, anger over the spill boiled over after the agency announced that the amount of toxic water released was three times what was previously stated — more than three million gallons rather than one million — and that officials were still unsure if there was a health threat to humans or animals.

"Unsure"? Of "chemical-laced water" probably filled with heavy metals? I'm sure!

What should be done about this? The EPA is supposed to regulate the cleanliness of our waters but in one stroke they have become the greatest polluter of the very water they are charged to protect.

That's why I think the EPA should be regulated by oil companies, who, by comparison, have a much better record of protecting the environment than the EPA. You don't see millions of gallons of oils regularly released into the rivers in North Dakota or Texas, have you?

To start with, oil companies should regulate pollution produced by the EPA, assessing a tax for each gallon of sludge the EPA releases due to its "regulatory activities". The tax should be high enough to discourage the EPA from releasing millions of gallons of toxic chemicals into the environment. In fact, the tax should be high enough to drive the EPA out of the investigation business.

Remember how President Obama is giving companies the "freedom" to build new coal plants, but is making regulatory barriers so that it is too expensive to do effectively. Oil companies should do the same thing with the EPA. Allow them to go on their fact finding and polluting missions, but tax them so much that the only profitable thing for them to do is to sit inside their air conditioned offices in DC and use the Washington Monument as a sun dial.

Oil companies should also be given subpoena power to force EPA officials to produce documents and to testify about their pollution activities, under oath. Oil companies should be able to subpoena "navigable e-mails", that is, emails that travel from one computer to another. They should even be able to look at EPA documents kept within a single computer, on the theory that even those these documents don't travel from computer to computer, they at some point could.

Oil companies should also be given standing to sue the EPA for damages for all the pollution they have caused. And they should also be allowed to issue thick books of regulations every year proscribing limitations on the actions of EPA officals, and make them as long and as complicated as possible to tie the EPA staff up in knots figuring out what the regulations mean and how to comply with them.

Now, if liberals object to oversight of one of the worst polluters of our time, won't that show that they are truly on the side of those who would destroy our environment?

(Abridged version originally published in AT)



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