How much EPA abuse will Colorado take?
By Marjorie Haun | Watchdog Arena
Colorado was built on the mining industry, with riches both in history and resources cached in its subterranean treasures. The Centennial state is also one of the most iconic destinations in the United States for back country hiking, fishing, and simply beholding purple mountains majesty.
But this western state has suffered a series of wrongs by the very federal agency tasked with protecting its precious resources and scenic wonders.
The following list details the disastrous actions—accidental and intentional—by the Environmental Protection Agency which have left many Coloradoans simultaneously bewildered and furious.
On August 29, 2015, the office of Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced that Colorado will be among several states mounting a legal challenge to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
In response to the EPA MATS and other Clean Power rules, on April 9, 2015 the Colorado State Senate passed the Colorado Electric Consumers’ Protection Act, which would force the EPA and other regulatory agencies to cooperate with the State Legislature and Public Utilities Commission when formulating rules.
Last June, the US Supreme Court heard Colorado’s challenge of the Mercury Rule, and has taken no action except to order the EPA to review its current regulations.
Groups representing numerous Colorado businesses have strongly opposed the EPA Ozone rules. In August of this year, the National Association of Manufacturers produced a TV ad warning Coloradoans of the job killing potential of the EPA initiative.
Colorado hastily joined at least 21 other states in mounting a legal challenge to WOTUS. In a relatively quick response to the states’ actions, Federal Judge, Ralph Erickson, issued an injunction against the EPA. According to an August 27 Washington Times article, Judge Erickson deemed the EPA’s attempt to regulate all surface water, “inexplicable, arbitrary and devoid of a reasoned process.” Earlier this year, Colorado Congressman, Scott Tipton, sponsored and successfully passed theRegulatory Integrity Protection Act (RIPA) through the House of Representatives. RIPA is written to specifically prohibit the EPA from implementing its water rule.
Having several lawsuits against the EPA already on the table, Colorado Attorney General Coffman did not hesitate to consider yet another legal action against the agency. Shortly after the spill, Coffman joined Attorneys General from Utah and New Mexico to announce such a possibility, pending further investigation of the cause, and ongoing assessments of damage to Colorado’s interests.
Outcries from Colorado State and National officials ensued in the wake of the spill, including demands from Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennett (CO), Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich (NM), and Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch (UT), who wrote a letter to the EPA Inspector General demanding details of the causes of the mine blowout, plans to correct dangerous practices, and efforts the agency will undertake to compensate effected people for damages.
With Colorado and other states suffering mounting wrongs in practice and policy by the EPA, questions are surfacing about the agency’s effectiveness and relevance. Established 35 years ago to standardize and enforce policies throughout the United States which would protect the environment and humans from destruction, today’s federal Environmental Protection Agency has become the thing from which people and the environment need protection.
This article was written by a contributor of Watchdog Arena, Franklin Center’s network of writers, bloggers, and citizen journalists.