News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

September 23, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Sept. 23, 2012

Environmental regulations protect us all

Since Mitt and the Tea Party Republicans are already doing a bang-up job alienating just about everyone but themselves and their top 1 percent funders, I thought I’d weigh in on a more mundane, though no less important in the long term, issue brought forth Sept. 16 by Courtney Schmidt regarding governmental regulations of coal-fired emissions.

I’ll do so with a hypothetical scenario.

Let’s say Republic Services, in order to improve their profits and outperform their competition, decided that instead of taking their daily loads of garbage to the landfill, they would simply dump them in Sugar Creek instead.

Would an argument against doing such a thing be deemed an attack against the garbage removal industry, and against our free enterprise system? Would it be “anti-capitalist,” perhaps even “socialist” of me to say,  “No, you cannot do that. These waterways belong to all of us, and you cannot dump toxic waste in them simply to save money and improve your bottom line?”

So why is requiring the coal industry to properly dispose of or eliminate their waste product, the mercury and air toxins they are dumping into our collective atmosphere, any different?

Sure, it’s going to cost them some money, just like it does for Republic to use the landfills, but so what? That’s the cost of doing business. If you can’t bear that cost, well … I’m sorry. What do you want me to do about it? Am I supposed to subsidize your industry by allowing you to pollute my environment, and that of future generations, at no cost (to you, that is … not so much for those impacted by that pollution and consequential impact of carbon dioxide accumulation), so you can make higher short-term profits, and outperform competitive energy sources?

Talk about an “anti-capitalist” form of “socialism!”

— Kerry Tomasi

Montezuma

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