Conservatives Want More Dirt in Your Water

As Kieran Healy observes, this Robert Pear article focusing on the Bush administration’s efforts to weaken labor rights so as to make it easier for businesses to poison their workforce and so forth also contains a few more doozies mentioned offhand:

The Labor Department rule is among many that federal agencies are poised to issue before Mr. Bush turns over the White House to Mr. Obama.

One rule would allow coal companies to dump rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations into nearby streams and valleys.

Yes, that’s right. In these troubled times, the right-wing has reached the conclusion that one of the primary issues facing the country is that it’s unduly difficult for coal companies to dump dirt into nearby streams. Because everyone wishes there was more dirt in their stream! Note that this is one of those issues where nothing about a commitment to free markets or property rights or liberty compels one to slavishly adopt the business-friendly view that people should have unlimited rights to ruin the water quality of people downstream. But that’s conservative governance in action.