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The Sickly Orange River

The Animas River in southern Colorado is currently a sickly orange color, the result of three million gallons of toxic waste being dumped into it. Ordinarily the Environmental Protection Agency would be pursuing criminal charges against the greedy earth-hating corporation that caused such a catastrophe, but in this case the agency itself is responsible.
It was entirely accidental, just one of those unfortunate things that can happen when you’re using heavy machinery while investigating a mine site, and the people charged with protecting America’s environment say they feel just awful about it. This is apparently sufficient for the environmentalist left, which is currently rallying to the agency’s defense and placing the blame on the company whose mine was being so disastrously investigated, but they see more concerned more with the government than the environment.
All those companies that have been heavily fined and whose executives have gone to jail for lesser contaminations surely didn’t intend to despoil the environment, after all, and we can reasonably assume that they also felt awful about it. The EPA’s apologists will likely argue that it was acting for the greater good, rather than than greed that motivates those nasty old miners, but we would note that mining industry also serves an essential and arguably more important service than the EPA and that the EPA’s employees are at least as well compensated and as a typical Colorado miner. The consequences of of governmental incompetence can be just as devastating as those of corporate incompetence, although usually more so, and deserve even harsher condemnation
When a corporation encounters one of those unfortunate things that can happen when you’re moving heavy machinery around toxic materials, there’s an EPA and a Justice Department and a Federal Bureau of Investigation and an environmental left around to make so those responsible are held to account, but if it’s the EPA and the federal government that’s spilling three million gallons of toxic waste into a river and turning it a sickly orange and the environmental left is rallying to its defense there’s no real incentive for them to avoid such screw-ups in the future.

— Bud Norman

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