It is difficult to recall a time in American history that one of the two major political parties actively sought to harm Americans by poison; likely because it is a relatively new phenomenon. What is ironic, really, is that the party that created the agency most responsible for protecting Americans’ air and water, the GOP, is now on a vicious crusade to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency for their masters in the fossil fuel, mining, and chemical industries; the Koch brothers.
Some Americans may recall that last year an alleged ‘secret recording‘ at one of the Koch brothers super-secret policy and fundraising confabs exposed current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s pledge to the billionaire Koch brothers. McConnell promised that, thanks to Charles and David Koch’s millions, when Republicans took control of the entire Congress they would “go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board. All across the federal government, we’re going to go after it.”
True to his word, Republicans have assaulted the Environmental Protection Agency since January, and having failed to eliminate the agency, or its authority to enforce clean air and water regulations, Republicans are going after its administrator, Regina McCarthy. Since McCarthy was appointed by President Obama to protect the environment, only the President can terminate her position, but vindictive House Republicans intend to impeach her for the Koch brothers.
Last week, nineteen House Republicans joined a dentist-turned-House Republican from Arizona heavily indebted to the fossil fuel, mining, and electric utility industry to repay the Kochs. The Republican received $170,000 in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies, mining interests and electric utilities and since Republicans failed to eliminate the EPA, he filed an impeachment resolution to “go after the EPA” administrator. If there is any doubt whether the Koch brothers are behind the vindictive resolution, the Koch brothers’ libertarian organization Freedom Works is behind impeaching the EPA administrator. At issue is the implementation of the Clean Water Act that the Supreme Court ordered the EPA to reconfigure by defining what constitutes U.S. Waters and how best to protect them; particular those providing drinking water.
The Koch acolyte driving the impeachment resolution is Paul Goser (R-AZ), and he claims that McCarthy committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” in attempting to define and protect Americans’ clean water supply. Goser has a predilection for “going after” administrators of federal agencies the Koch brothers want eliminated. Just a couple of months ago he demanded the immediate termination and removal of the Internal Revenue Service Commissioner because the Koch brothers have wanted it abolished for over 30 years. Two years ago Gosar demanded that former Attorney General Eric Holder be impeached; likely because he was appointed by Barack Obama.
According to Gosar, the high crimes and misdemeanors are surrounding science the EPA used to determine how far away polluters have to keep their poison from Americans’ water supplies. Ms. McCarthy said that, according to directions from the Supreme Court, “the EPA narrowed the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act consistent with sound science and the law.” The EPA changed the distance a polluter can be to “waters that are part of a larger watershed feeding major lakes and waters that provide drinking water.” The EPA change was from 5,000 feet to 4,000 feet, and it is bizarre, but 1,000 feet closer to drinking water supplies was insufficient; or what Gosar and Republicans claim is Obama’s government overreach.
Republicans claim President Obama, in adhering to the Supreme Court’s directives, is seizing control over ponds and ditches on private property that will surely “kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and cause untold economic harm to communities throughout the country.” The head of the National Federation for Independent Businesses claims that “the President and EPA ignored the impact of their actions on small business,” and a spokesperson for the House Natural Resources Committee chaired by Utah Republican Rob Bishop warned that “The EPA needs to be stopped before it does more harm to our nation’s precious water resources.” Speaker of the House John Boehner has consistently called the Clean Water rule another Obama “tyrannical power grab that will crush jobs.” No-one reminds Republicans that their initial claim and complaint about the Clean Water rule is that it is was an Obama plot to confiscate private Americans’ backyard ponds. Protecting Americans’ jobs, or their “precious water resources,” was never the impetus for blocking the Clean Water Act, abolishing the EPA, or impeaching Regina McCarthy.
Thus far, 13 states sued both the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to overturn the CWA because they claim that, like Ms. McCarthy, the EPA and Army Corps are overstepping their bounds by following their mandate to protect Americans’ drinking water supply. Obviously, besides acquiescing to the Supreme Courts’ directions, the federal government says that the new rule is necessary in order to protect Americans’ drinking water sources from polluters; such as the Koch-owned chemical storage facility in West Virginia that poured toxic chemicals into the Elk River last year. As Senior White House adviser Brian Deese pointed out in referring to the fierce Koch-Republican opposition to the Clean Water Act, “the only people with reason to oppose the rule are polluters who threaten our clean water.”
It would be disingenuous to ponder why Republicans who created the Environmental Protection Agency to protect Americans’ clean air and water shifted their focus 180 degrees to abolish the agency. For dog’s sake, while Mitch McConnell was pledging to the Kochs that Republicans would go after the EPA, he knew when he voted for clean air and water regulations he said, “I had to choose between maintaining the status quo or clean air and water. I chose clean air and water.” McConnell is not the only Republican to support protecting Americans’ water and air, but that was before Republicans became surrogates for the Koch brothers and their associated polluter class; it was also before Republicans began their crusade to look the other way while the fossil fuel, mining, logging, and chemical industry began poisoning Americans’ water supply with veritable impunity.
Republicans are not going to impeach the EPA administrator McCarthy any more than they impeached former Attorney General Eric Holder, or get rid of IRS Commissioner Koskinen. One even wonders exactly how impeaching an agency head is going to eliminate the EPA or abolish clean water regulations, but these are Republicans and besides holding Americans in contempt, and serving the interests of the Koch brothers, they are raging angry lunatics. As Senior White House adviser Brian Deese said, “the only people with reason to oppose the (clean water) rule are polluters who threaten our clean water.” Deese should have just called out the Kochs and Republicans by name, but ‘polluters’ is an apropos moniker for both.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.