EPA has not punished anyone for toxic spill at Colorado mine

A short history of Obama administration accountability:

1. No one fired at ATF or the Justice Department over Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal

2. No one fired at IRS, two employees temporarily demoted over targeting scandal

3. Only six managers at the VA fired or allowed to resign over falsifying wait time records

4. No HHS employee fired over Obamacare exchange fiasco

5. No senior officers have been demoted or removed from CENTCOM for "cooking the books" on ISIS intelligence

6.. No EPA employee disciplined for toxic spill at Colorado mine

As for that last scandal, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told a congressional committee she never even yelled at anyone at the EPA for allowing millions of gallons of orange waste to flow into the Animas River.

Washington Times:

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday she is unaware of anyone being fired, fined or even demoted for the Gold King Mine spill, prompting Republicans to accuse her of taking the EPA off the hook for the toxic blowout.

“So you’re letting the EPA get off scot-free it sounds like. They are not being held accountable,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn, Colorado Republican, at the House Natural Resources Committee hearing.

Republicans took Ms. Jewell to task for the Interior Department’s investigation into the Aug. 5 spill, saying the October report failed to hold anyone responsible for unleashing 3 million gallons of orange, toxic wastewater into the Animas River near Silverton, Colorado.

“You’re directly responsible for this report. The EPA had promised this committee a thorough investigation,” said Rep. Tom McClintock, California Republican. “We have not gotten one. What we have gotten is a complete, deliberate whitewash.”

Mr. Lamborn asked if anyone had been fired or fined after the spill, to which she replied, “Not that I’m aware of.” Asked if she was aware of anyone being demoted, she referred the question to the EPA.

Asked if she had even yelled at anyone, Ms. Jewell responded, “No, I have not yelled at anybody over this.”

Ms. Jewell defended the Interior investigation, saying it was confined to a technical review of the incident to determine its cause, not to assign blame. The report concluded that the EPA team touched off the spill by removing debris without first testing the water level within the mine.

“I think if you review the technical report, it clearly identifies issues where there turned out to be an error in judgment on the part of EPA,” Ms. Jewell said. “That’s hardly not holding them accountable. It is in fact holding them accountable.”

But Republicans said that excuse wouldn’t fly if a private company had been at fault for violating the Clean Water Act with the blowout, instead of the EPA.

“Yeah, it’s unintentional, but there are still consequences here,” said Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona Republican. “I hope you understand the frustration here. The bureaucracy does not take care of itself because it holds nobody accountable.”

Mr. McClintock listed examples of far smaller spills that have met with fines, criminal penalties and even jail time. He cited the 1994 case of an Alaska backhoe operator who accidentally spilled more than 1,000 gallons of heating oil into a river, resulting in a six-month prison sentence for a company official not at the scene.

And that's the bottom line: what's good for the goose should be good for the gander.  A private company who caused a spill like the one at King's Mine would have been drawn and quartered by the EPA – officials would have gone to jail, and they would have been forced to pay for the cleanup.

Instead, we get whitewash and cover-up of responsibility.  But as shown above, this is standard operating procedure for the Obama administration.  The most "transparent" administration in history is a sick joke, as no one anywhere in government ever does anything wrong.

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