Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Regulate This

I think John Boehner wins the coveted WTF? award for the week.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Tuesday blamed the Obama administration for a disastrous chemical spill in West Virginia.

He said at a news conference in D.C. that the country had enough environmental and health regulations, but they were not being properly enforced.

“The issue is this, we have enough regulations on the books,” Boehner remarked. “What the administration ought to be doing is actually doing their jobs. Why wasn’t this plant inspected since 1991?”

“I am entirely confident that there are ample regulations already on the books to protect the health and safety of the American people,” Boehner added. “Somebody ought to be held accountable here.”

First, the Obama administration wasn’t in office in 1991.  That was George H. W. Bush’s term — not one that is known for environmental regulation enforcement — and there were at least two other administrations in office between 1991 and the time Barack Obama was inaugurated.

Second, it’s up to the state of West Virginia to enforce the regulations on their chemical plants, not the federal government.  And they’ve done a terrible job of it.

Finally, if Mr. Boehner is so confident that we have enough regulations in place to keep us safe and able to drink our water out of the tap, then let’s build the next plant that processes methylcyclohexene methanol in Ohio’s 8th district and let the free market reign.  The spill from West Virginia is already on the way to Cincinnati.