It’s “Climate Denial” taken to an obscene and ludicrous new level. GOP Representative Paul Goser of Arizona has introduced a resolution to impeach Regina McCarthy, chief administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

What are the allegations against Ms. McCarthy? According to Article II of the House Resolution,

Regina McCarthy, while Administrator of the United 18 States Environmental Protection Agency, made false statements before the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives on July 9, 21 2015 in violation of Section 1001 of Title 18, United States Code.

The resolution doesn’t specify what those “false statements” were – but it doesn’t take Perry Mason to figure it out.

It has to do with the recent Clean Water Act, which was recently blocked by a federal judge in North Dakota. The law would extend federal environmental protections to water sources such as small streams and wetlands – including those on private property. The judge’s injunction applies only in 13 states; the EPA is moving forward with enforcement in the remaining 37.

Not surprisingly, Republicans claim that the new law is “Big Government” control over streams, ditches and ponds on private lands. According to the EPA, however, the law only covers such waters that are part of larger watersheds feeding into major lakes and rivers that provide drinking water. According to Ms. McCarthy, the EPA is “narrowing the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act consistent with sound science and the law.”

Representative Gosar alleges that the “sound science” to which McCarthy refers and presented to Congress constituted lies and misinformation. Gosar said:

McCarthy not only broke the law by lying to Congress, but in doing so she also lied to the American people in order to force misguided and overreaching regulations, which have no scientific basis, down our throats.”

He adds that the law “will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and cause untold economic harm to communities throughout the country.”

Ring of Fire readers will not be surprised to learn that the three-term Congressman has received nearly $170,000 in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies, mining interests and electric utilities, according to Open Secrets. An article in US News & World Report also states that Freedom Works, a libertarian activist organization, is backing the impeachment resolution.

It is unlikely that the resolution for impeachment will go forward. Sara Chieffo of the League of Conservation Voters told US News that it is just one more demonstration of how far corporate lapdogs in Congress will go in order to dismantle environmental regulations. EPA spokesperson Liz Purchia dismisses it all as “political theater.”

If nothing else, corporate Republicans are masters of political theater.



K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.