Embattled EPA chief named Conservationist of the Year

In the wake of her agency's toxic waste spill into the Animas River, EPA chief Gina McCarthy was named the National Wildlife Federation's 'Conservationist of the Year.'

EPA Chief Gina McCarthy

PASADENA, Calif., April 14, 2016 — On Thursday, EPA chief Gina McCarthy was named “Conservationist of the Year” by the National Wildlife Federation.

The choice is interesting after the devastating impact the EPA has had in recent years on the environment and many Americans.  For instance, the EPA was solely responsible for breaching a dam (after it coerced its way into a mine in Colorado), sending three million gallons of toxic waste spilling into the Animas River (which supplies drinking water for thousands of people), and significantly damaging the local economy and recreational use of the Animas.

The spill was disastrous for people living on the Navajo Nation Indian reservation downstream.  The EPA not only refused to take full responsibility for the incident, but reportedly did it on purpose.  The agency eventually offered one of the weakest apologies it could weeks after the event, but has since wavered on the degree to which it was responsible.

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The EPA spilled toxic waste into the same river a second time about two months later.  They assured the public the environmental impact would be “minimal,” without defining that word.  Apparently the title of Conservationist of the Year can be given to people who have a “minimal” negative impact on the environment.

McCarthy said something that makes this best-conservationist award even stranger.  She admitted that the EPA’s crippling regulations aren’t meant to actually lower the temperature or affect the climate, but rather to inspire the world to start cutting back on emissions—or something.  McCarthy isn’t as concerned about affecting the environment as she is sending a message to the rest of the world.

The EPA’s incompetence and harm it’s caused to the environment don’t begin to touch the full range of its scandals. The list is too long to document fully here, but it includes accusations of perjury, extortion, credit card fraud and improper payments.

On top of that, the EPA has put thousands of Americans out of work.  In the last year alone, EPA regulations have left 11,000 coal miners without any way to feed their families. That’s on top of another 100,000 jobs that are expected to be lost thanks in large part to the EPA.  The destruction of those jobs isn’t related to making any real change in the environment, according to McCarthy.  These people are out of work simply to send a “message” to the world.

What’s McCarthy’s response to all this? She’s doubling down.  She promises to continue business as usual for as long as she can. That is in character; after being rebuked by the Supreme Court over one of her many overreaching regulations, rather than accept the ruling of the highest court in the land, she vowed to press on.

Not only is Gina McCarthy the ringleader of one of the most reckless and destructive government agencies in recent history, she is being honored for it by her eco-activist peers.  There must be some out-of-work coal miners who would have a thing or two to say about that, but the sort of people affected by EPA regulations don’t sit on awards committees.  It represents government at its absolute worst.

If contaminating the environment with millions of gallons of toxic waste, overseeing an agency rife with scandal and killing American jobs makes you conservationist of the year, it would be frightening to see what the runners-up are capable of.

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