Boehner On W.Va. Chemical Spill: ‘We Have Enough Regulations’

AP

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) doesn’t believe the GOP should reconsider its deregulation agenda after a massive, coal-linked chemical spill left hundreds of thousands of West Virginians without tap water at a site state regulators last fully inspected in 1991.

“We have enough regulations on the books. What the administration ought to be doing is their jobs,” Boehner said Tuesday at a weekly press conference on Capitol Hill.

While Boehner said that somebody ought to be held accountable for the failure in oversight, the Speaker explained his party was focused on eliminating “cumbersome, over-the-top” regulations that were “costing the American people jobs.”

The site’s tanks, owned by Freedom Industries, don’t fall under an inspection program and the chemicals stored there weren’t considered hazardous enough to require permits before they leaked into the Elk River nearby.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin told CNN he was considering tightening the state’s regulations in response to the spill.

“We need to do what we can to see that this kind of incident never happens again. There’s no excuse for it,” he said.

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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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