Saturday, October 09, 2010

Pollution and Regulation

One of the GOP's constant complaints, especially in California, is that government regulations are too onerous.  It's too hard to do business here.  We're ruining the economy.  Et cetera.

From Hungary this week we have a classic example of why we have those regulations: 

Hundreds flee threat of new toxic sludge spill in Hungary

I chose this account in the Telegraph, from the U.K., to avoid any implication of American bias. 

We're ruining the economy and driving business away because we cannot trust business to keep the public welfare in mind.  Business is only interested in maximizing profit.  This is what happens when business is allowed to operate without safety requirements and pollution controls.  No irksome government regulations in Hungary led to a million cubic meters of toxic red sludge bursting out from behind a failed dam, destroying villages, livelihoods, and lives; and it now appears that this appalling reservoir may spring another leak, any day now.  It has gotten into the Danube, one of Europe's major waterways; and they're saying the Danube isn't seriously damaged, but I don't think the whole story is told yet.

The next time you hear businessmen complaining about annoying regulations, remind them of this spill.  Oh, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the gas pipe explosion and fire in San Bruno, too - those happened here, where we have regulations, which obviously failed.

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