GOP Rep. Demands EPA Chief Resign Over Mine Blowout

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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A handful of Republicans are demanding EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy be impeached for allegedly committing perjury before Congress this year, and now one GOP lawmaker is calling for McCarthy to resign over the agency-caused mine blowout.

“In the interest of fairness to the American people who have experienced the wrath of the EPA for much smaller… accidents than this, I think it’s only appropriate that you would resign as a statement of fairness for what Americans have experienced for much smaller incidents,” Georgia Republican Rep. Jody Hice told McCarthy in the hearing.

The hearing was examining the EPA’s response to a massive blowout of wastewater at the Gold King Mine caused by agency workers. State and tribal officials have been furious with the EPA’s slow response and lack of transparency in agency spill operations. Navajo officials have even threatened to sue the agency over the spill.

Republicans repeatedly asked McCarthy why no one EPA employee or contractor has been reprimanded or fired yet over spilling three million gallons of toxic mine wastewater into Colorado’s Animas River. The bright orange plume of heavy metals eventually made its way through three states as well as tribal territories.

“There ought to be equal consequences for the EPA as there are for private citizens, and I cannot believe for one minute the EPA would not aggressively go after… a private company who was involved in cleaning up a potential environmental hazard” and caused an accident, Hice said.

Hice’s call for McCarthy to resign comes after another Republican called for the EPA’s chief’s impeachment, claiming she committed perjury while testifying before Congress this year.

“Perjury and making false statements to Congress are an affront to the fundamental principles of our republic and the rule of law, and such behavior cannot be tolerated,” Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar wrote to fellow Republicans looking for support for his resolution.

Interestingly enough, Gosar wants to impeach McCarthy for making “several false statements at multiple congressional hearings” while discussing the EPA’s contentious Clean Water Rule. The rule would expand the EPA’s authority over more bodies of water, including those on private property.

The resolution to impeach McCarthy has 20 cosponsors, including Hice — who just told the EPA chief to her face that she should resign.

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