Originally published September 17 2015
No one is responsible when government agencies make mistakes, but they are quick to go after ordinary Americans who make such errors
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The federal bureaucracy is massive, expensive, all-powerful and completely unaccountable to the very public that funds it. A recent incident involving the Environmental Protection Agency is a classic example.
In recent days, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who is a life-long government bureaucrat like all top agency heads, told a Senate panel that the agency wasn't responsible for a toxic spill involving millions of gallons of highly tainted water at the Gold Key Mine in Colorado in August. In fact, no one is.
"I'm not saying that the acts of the agency didn't cause the accident," she testified during a series of oversight hearings on the spill, according to the Washington Examiner. "But accidents by their very nature may not have resulted from any negligence whatsoever on the part of anybody."
McCarthy made her comments during an often heated exchange between herself and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., whose state was one of four affected by the spill, as he pressed her to explain who would take responsibility for it.
"You really believe that this spill could have [occurred] with no negligence on the part of anyone?" McCain asked.
"I believe we went in there with the state of Colorado... and all the experts agreed this was the next step to take," McCarthy answered. "They made a judgment that you can see in our internal review... That judgment was obviously incorrect. But whether or not they did due diligence..."
"That's almost classic," McCain said, cutting her short. "You don't believe someone is responsible for a decision that caused this kind of an incredible disaster, and could impact the lives of Native Americans for a long period of time?"
Classic indeed. Do ordinary Americans get a pass like this? Hardly.
Consider these examples involving the EPA:
In May 2014, the agency threatened to fine a Wyoming couple $75,000 a day simply for building a pond on their land that the agency said disrupted a "navigable waterway" – a nearby creek – that had long been diverted for irrigation purposes, and they did this without bothering to listen to their explanation.
"It's very frustrating and these things take an incredible length of time. And every benefit of the doubt goes to the federal government," William Perry Pendley, president of Mountain States Legal Foundation, told Fox News. He was not involved in the case, but he has represented other landowners in similar cases against the EPA.
In January 2012, the EPA began bullying an Idaho couple who had begun building their dream home on a .63-acre tract of land near a lake. The couple neglected to conduct a formal wetlands delineation before they started to move earth and dump gravel.
The result? The EPA threatened to levy more than $38,000 in fines per day if the couple did not return the land to its original state, leaving them with the choice of playing Russian roulette with their savings in federal court trying a case they might not win, or backing down and seeing their dream home – and property – vanish.
In May of this year, the Obama EPA passed a slew of new regulations that critics say have the effect of giving the agency the authority to impose its will against property owners for the smallest "bodies of water" on their land (think mud puddles – literally). Those rules are likely going to be challenged by states, but after Obama and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were able to pack the D.C. Circuit - the federal court that hears challenges to regulations – with liberal judges, there is every reason to expect such challenges won't go anywhere.
The cycle (and tyranny) of the EPA's arbitrary punishment will continue, while none of its agents or employees are held accountable for anything they do.
It's no wonder that Americans are flocking to "outsider" candidates for president this cycle.
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