Last Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency botched an on-site investigation into an abandoned mine in the southwest corner of the state, unleashing three million gallons of highly toxic wastewater directly into the area’s largest river.

The Animas River almost immediately became a sludgy orange mess, with levels of arsenic and lead reaching 3500 times the water’s normal levels. Colorado’s governor declared a State of Emergency. While the long-term effects of the spill – on the environment, on affected communities, on the water supply – are still largely unknown, it is certain that the cleanup will be a devastatingly costly affair.

Of course, the EPA won’t face any fines or penalties for causing this catastrophe, as the government can’t fine itself. One has to imagine that a private company wouldn’t get off so scot-free.

As this disaster unfolds, the EPA remains hard at work imposing its new Clean Power Plan on energy companies across Colorado. The new regulations will have absolutely no effect or impact on global warming, but are almost certain to cost hundreds, and possibly thousands of jobs in rural Colorado communities whose entire economies depend on the energy industry.

In short, the Environmental Protection Agency is drowning one corner of the state with a pool of toxic sludge, while suffocating another with onerous-but-useless regulations. When will it end? Is there a better solution?

Give it some more thought by learning about the best role of government.

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