Government Subsidies For Pollution?

This column was written by The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Thanks to a front-page story in today's Washington Post, we have yet one more example of how hopelessly out of touch the government is.

Post staff writer Steven Mufson explains that, because of a full court press by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, lawmakers are happily handing over low-interest loans to build coal-burning power plants. These are conventional plants, the Post says, that, when completed in 10 years, would spew enough greenhouse gas emissions to offset all — yes, all — of the ongoing efforts to curb and reduce them.

You and I know that makes no sense. But then again, we don't live in Washington. I know it costs a lot of money to run for reelection, and I know that lobbyists are an almost irresistible force. But not only is this fiasco bad environmental policy, it's bad fiscal policy — government subsidies for pollution. You can read all about it in the Washington Post.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith