Cannibalism As Spectator Sport

One couldn’t help but be amused by this:

Accusing the state of failing to control industrial air pollution, environmental groups went to court yesterday to force the Maryland Department of the Environment to set new emission limits for a Baltimore trash incinerator.

The groups also threatened to sue Atlanta-based Mirant for allegedly spewing pollutants from one of its power plants in suburban Washington. The plant has been operating for years without a permit.

Activists said the actions were prompted by their frustration with the O’Malley administration for foot-dragging in dealing with pollution violations at some of the state’s largest factories and power plants.

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“We’ve just had it,” said Eric Schaeffer, a former federal environmental regulator who now leads a Washington-based group, the Environmental Integrity Project. He said the two cases are part of a pattern in Maryland in which power plants and factories have been allowed to operate without pollution permits and up-to-date emission limits.

Guys like Shaeffer operate in some sort of parallel universe where rules of economics don’t apply. So do guys like Governor O’Malley. The fun part comes in when politicians like O’Malley suddenly enter our universe where regulations, no matter how well intentioned, have costs and costs have economic impacts while their erstwhile buddies remain in their own special cloud cuckooland.

Can you put a little more butter on that popcorn.

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