President Obama has been busy this week, renaming the nation’s highest peak from Mt. McKinley to the traditional Alaskan name, Denali (meaning high one…which seems a clever way for Obama to actually name the place after himself with nobody being the wiser).
Because Alaska doesn’t have many golf courses, he has been working hard, too. Obama has been staring down glaciers to fight climate change and giving millions of taxpayer dollars away in specialty commissions to aid in this epic battle.
After enjoying the warmth of native Alaskan hospitality, it is unlikely the President will want to head to Colorado and meet the another group of native Americans, however. In the wake of the contamination from EPA-caused Animas River spill, the Navajo Nation is moving forward with a lawsuit against the agency.
….[T]hey’ve hired law firm Hueston Hennigan LLP to represent them in what some are predicting could be a multibillion-dollar lawsuit expected to be filed in the coming weeks, as lawmakers on Capitol Hill prepare for a round of hearings examining the issue.
And heading their legal team is powerhouse attorney John Hueston, who was the lead prosecutor in the 2006 case against former Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, who were found guilty of fraud and conspiracy.
Russell Begaye — president of Navajo Nation, which totals roughly 300,000 people — also sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials on Monday, calling on them to appoint a FEMA official to coordinate their efforts in the response to the spill.
“This expansion into Navajo lands via the San Juan River has critically impacted the River and its dependent ecosystems including wildlife, fish populations, and the land base adjacent to the River,” Begaye wrote in the letter, first obtained by The Hill.
…Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch said in a statement that the hazardous-material spill “has been devastating to our culture and economy, as well as to the peace of mind of our people.
I must admit, I will really enjoy seeing the EPA get the Enron treatment in this case. In part, it is because further investigation is revealing the EPA knew about the potential for a blow-out at least a year before they proceeded with the project that led to the disaster.
Two congressional committee leaders from Utah say the Environmental Protection Agency and a federal contractor knew more than year ago that work in an abandoned Colorado mine could cause a toxic spill.
Rep. Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Resources Committee, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent letters late Monday to the EPA and Missouri-based Environmental Restoration demanding documents for their investigation of the incident.
…Chaffetz said the EPA has a lot to answer for.
“They could have avoided this spill, but they caused it,” he said. “There are indications that they were given warnings that this type of spill could happen if they did what they did.”
As Obama basks in the glories of Alaska’s natural beauty, his administration is going to have to address the consequences of polluting Colorado’s.
In a fitting conclusion to the Denali drama of this week, new numbers from the US Geological Survey indicate the nation’s highest peak is 10 feet shorter than previously thought. Truly, there is less of everything under Obama—except crises, that is.DONATE
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