The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed limits on pollution from industrial boilers and process heaters would annually prevent 6,600 premature deaths, more than 4,000 non-fatal heart attacks, more than 1,600 cases of acute bronchitis, and more than 313,000 missed work and school days. But Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) wants to block those protections, citing an electric utility consulting group’s warning that retrofitting their operations to stop killing so many people would surely cost jobs.
I know it’s not surprising that Republicans – even ones the media likes to call “moderates” like Sen. Collins – are trying to take us back to the Bush-Cheney era playbook of letting the free market make the rules. You know, the strategy that gave us the worst job creation results on record.
But still, this sentence stood out:
Collins noted that her bill would exempt some regulations needed to deal with emergencies, such as threats to public health and safety.
So Sen. Collins is fine with 6,600 Americans dying prematurely as long as they do it in the quiet corner of a hospital out of the public eye. But if it’s going to be a big news story, suddenly every life is precious. Rotting from the head down is right.