Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Cleaning Constellation's Head

I am in the midst of reading Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, and early on in the book, in reference to the destruction wrought by mining companies in Montana, he asks rhetorically, "why any person or group in any society would knowingly do something harmful to the society as a whole?" The answer, of course, boils down to one word, money. "Successful businesses differentiate between those expenses necessary to stay in business and those more pensively characterized as 'moral obligations.'"

The Montana tale, which really is horrific, as well as its resolution have immediacy for Marylanders and Anne Arundel County residents. State legislators have introduced a "4 Pollutants" bill (SB744/HB1169) aimed at getting Maryland coal-fired power plants to clean up their act. The bill would require the Brandon Shores and H.A. Wagner power plants (and others) to meet stricter requirements for emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and mercury. Predictably, Constellation Energy's representatives aren't ecstatic about the bill, fearing it could hurt their "competitiveness," but even their environmental manager offered, "We all recognize more needs to be done." It certainly does. As many know, Anne Arundel County suffers from some of the worst air quality in the nation.

In his book, Diamond offers sage advice that I will adapt for the case at hand, "If [Maryland] residents want [Constellation] to do things that would diminish its profits, it's their responsibility to get their politicians to pass and enforce laws demanding those things." I agree. If you do, please contact your local Delegates and Senator and ask them to support this important bill so we can get these polluters to stop poisoning us.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home