Here in my adopted home state of Colorado, orange is the new Animas River, thanks to the blithering idiots working at President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency.
It's just the latest man-caused disaster from an out-of-control bureaucracy whose primary mission is not the Earth's preservation, but self-preservation.
As always, the government cover-up compounds the crime — which is why the agency's promise this week to investigate itself has residents across the Rocky Mountains in stitches. Or tears.
After the EPA and officials and their contract workers accidentally spilled 3 million gallons of pent-up toxic sludge on Aug. 5 from a defunct mine in San Juan County that hadn't operated since 1923, EPA apparatchiks delayed notifying residents for more than 24 hours.
They vastly underestimated the volume and spill rate of gunk. Then, while refusing to release data, EPA head Gina McCarthy flew to the glowing river to fecklessly declare that the water "seems to be restoring itself."
The cleanup costs for the Colorado spill alone are estimated at $30 billion. Small farmers, ranchers and tourist-related businesses will be reeling for years to come — yet the EPA is simultaneously pushing forward with Draconian ozone regulations (based on cherry-picked junk science) that will punish the state's residents with no discernible health benefits.
If only Mother Nature could help wash away the institutionalized corruption that has been leaching from Obama's EPA headquarters since Day One:
• BP oil spill data doctoring. Former White House Director of the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy Carol Browner and the EPA suffered no consequences after they repeatedly lied and cooked the books in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.
Browner, who pulled the puppet strings of then-EPA head Lisa Jackson, misled the public about the scope of the disaster by falsely claiming that 75 percent of the spill was "completely gone from the system." Then she falsely claimed that the administration's initial report on the disaster was "peer-reviewed."
The Interior Department inspector general also singled out Browner for misrepresenting the White House's blue-ribbon science panel, which opposed a six-month drilling moratorium, and exposed how she butchered their conclusions to justify the administration's preordained policy agenda.
Browner, an inveterate left-wing crony lobbyist/activist, left office without so much as a wrist slap. Brazen data doctoring and destruction are her fortes. As EPA head during the Clinton administration in the 1990s, she was held in contempt by a federal judge after ordering a staffer to purge and delete her computer files.
Browner had sought to evade a public disclosure lawsuit by conservative lawyer and author Mark Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation.
• Email evasion and transparency trouncing. While Browner was doing her dirty work as Obama's unaccountable eco-czar, Jackson busied herself creating sock-puppet email personalities to circumvent public disclosure rules as the agency crafted radical climate-change policies in secret. She learned the tricks of the trade from Browner.
Jackson admitted to using the pseudonym "Richard Windsor" on one of at least two separate secret government accounts. Competitive Enterprise Institute fellow Christopher Horner discovered the elaborate ruses in 2012. The agency had stonewalled Horner's FOIA requests on the use of alias accounts at the agency; CEI sued to force the administration to comply.
In December 2012, Jackson resigned amid multiple investigations. Not a wrist slap. Not a scratch. In March of this year, a federal judge blasted the agency for avoiding a separate FOIA request by Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation related to sock-puppet email accounts created by Jackson and others "who may have delayed the release dates for hot-button environmental regulations until after the Nov. 6, 2012, presidential election."
Apple Computer hired Jackson in 2013 (and all of her multiple personalities). Two months ago, the company proudly announced that it was promoting Jackson to "vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives" and head of the company's "global government affairs and public policy teams."
• Enabling sex predators and porn addicts. Last month, the EPA inspector general finally testified on Capitol Hill about the agency's chronic mismanagement of alleged sexual perverts on the payroll.
One employee "engaged in offensive and inappropriate behavior toward at least 16 women, most of whom were EPA co-workers," the IG reported. Supervisors "were made aware of many of these actions and yet did nothing."
Well, not exactly "nothing." The employee was actually promoted to assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Homeland Security — a position he used to harass six more women.
Two other EPA workers were caught binging on porn during work hours; one was observed getting his X-rated fix by a minor who was at the office during Bring Your Child to Work Day. EPA allowed one perv to retire with full benefits; the other is still on leave collecting a $120,000 yearly salary.
Double standards. Data destruction. Imposition of radical job-killing regulations. Law-breaking with impunity. Only in Washington does a rogue government agency with an $8 billion budget get away with such serial incompetence and criminality in the name of the "public good." Protecting the environment has become a full employment racket for green crooks and cronies.