Few things are more hilarious than watching liberals, particularly those in the media, act like wounded gerbils as they see a smallish herd of sacred cattle marched off to the slaughterhouse.
Thursday night, Congress roused itself from its usual supine position and voted to rescind a rule promulgated by the EPA that essentially put the federal government in charge of every mining operation in the nation. The rule, portrayed by enviro-whackos as a way of saving America, does nothing beyond forcing the closure of a lot of mining operations and the destruction of jobs and the local economies. From the rule:
The rule defines “material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area” for the first time and clarifying that the statutory prohibition on the approval of proposed operations that would result in material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area applies to both surface and underground mining operations. Under SMCRA, the regulatory authority may not approve a permit application unless the application demonstrates, and the regulatory authority finds, that the proposed operation would not result in material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area.
The rule expands the baseline data requirements for permit applications for proposed coal mining operations to ensure that the permittee and the regulatory authority have a complete picture of premining conditions to which the impacts of mining can be compared.
If you’ve been following the Gorsuch nomination, you’re heard a lot of talk about Gorsuch’s view on the “Chevron doctrine” (he’s skeptical). That doctrine says that courts must defer to an agency’s interpretation of federal rules unless the interpretation is obviously unreasonable. This rule basically puts the fate of mining operations in the hands of an unelected federal bureaucrat who can decide if “material damage” results to the “hydrologic balance.”
The media, ever the lackies of whatever environmental dogma that is trendy, went on the attack.
The classic comes from CNN. The anchor here is Rene Marsh:
RENE MARSH, CNN: The whole idea behind this is to protect streams from any sort of pollution that could come from coal and the mining industry. Essentially it requires these companies to do checks, data checks, to see how many chemicals, what’s the level of chemicals within these streams that may be a by-product from the coal industry, the mining industry.
We do know that yesterday the House voted to repeal it, and the Senate, just a short time ago, also voted to repeal this regulation.
So environmentalists, obviously, very concerned. They’re saying, “Well, if you’re not collecting the data, you’re not monitoring the chemicals in the stream, how will you know what the environmental impact will be from mining and the coal industry?”
So that’s the concern there. But on the other side, you have the coal industry saying that this was too burdensome, it was a financial burden. It was, you know, killing jobs within the industry.
So really today, the repealing of this vote, Jake, is seen as a very big win for the coal industry.
If you watch the video carefully you’ll note that some of it looks familiar.
Is CNN using footage of the EPA's waste water spill in the Animas River for this story? pic.twitter.com/1tRDUcs1RP
— Jimmy (@JimmyPrinceton) February 2, 2017
That’s right. CNN is not using video of a coal mine’s actions. The video, rather, is from the Animas River in Colorado that was devastated by corrupt and incompetent EPA officials who were never called to account for the malfeasance and then the agency reneged (I guess I can use that word again without sending people to their safe space) on a promise to remediate the damage:
The Obama administration exits with an ugly environmental blot on its record after failing to hold itself financially accountable for the Gold KingMine spill, but Republicans are hoping President-elect Donald Trump will clean up the mess.
In one of its final moves before President Obama leaves office, the Environmental Protection Agency refused to pay 73 claims totaling $1.2 billion filed by tribes, farmers, river-rafters and local governments from the August 2015 wastewater spill, citing sovereign immunity under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
Western lawmakers were floored by Friday’s decision, pointing to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s numerous assurances that the agency would take responsibility for the damage caused by the EPA-led crew, which unleashed 3 million gallons of mustard-colored contamination into the Animas and San Juan rivers and three states.
“They said they would make everyone whole, and now they’re backing away from that decision,” said Rep. Scott R. Tipton, the Colorado Republican who represents communities in the Durango area hit by the spill.
The regulation that was rescinded by Congress did nothing to make us safer. It was less than a year old and its full impact had not been felt. Regulations on water quality can be enacted by state agencies that are responsive to the needs of people of that state. There is no need for the EPA to be in the business of supervising businesses.