February 18, 2008

Bill Ritter & Horse Manure

OK, we admit it. We had fun writing the title to this essay, and yet there is a connection that we wouldn't have thought of but for a Sunday editorial in The Gazette.

Entrepreneurialism, inspired by profit and good will, has long improved environmental conditions. In just the past decade, modern ice melting chemicals have cleaned up the Front Range brown cloud, largely caused by road sand. Before the car, as economist Nobel Laureate Robert Fogel pointed out, horse manure built up on the streets of large American cities. Dried, pulverized manure particulate floated through the air, causing deadly diseases. The invention of the internal-combustion engine, today considered a polluter in its own right, saved us from deadly airborne manure.

Innovation, unlike regulation, typically turns up green — in more ways than one. Neumann’s invention could be the latest proof.

When push comes to shove, and well before that, Bill Ritter is the regulation governor. He is determined to eradicate coal burning electric plants through regulation or he wouldn't have appointed a regulator, Matt Baker, who was determined to do so to the PUC.

The Gazette's editorial was about a new invention to scrub pollutants from coal fired plants, apparently including carbon emmissions. It was a waste of ink. For those who recall what happened to nuclear energy, once it was demonized, it was never again acceptable to the environmentalists, no matter how safe it could be. The same thing is happening to coal.

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