Why give Carnival Cruise Lines an unfair advantage over its competitors?

It is bad enough that Carnival Cruise Lines would ask for an exception to the EPA requirement that its ships use cleaner fuel, but to threaten to take its business away from Baltimore is blackmail: The governor should have shown stronger character and not fallen for this ploy ("O'Malley lobbies EPA on fuel rules," June 16).

This is just another case where states or counties try to influence businesses to come or stay in their jurisdiction because they believe the jobs they offer nullify the sordidness of these nefarious deals.

Usually these deals are tax breaks or "loans" that never seem to get paid back. There are a hotels in Maryland financed though such deals that have never turned a profit.

It is not the government's place to unfairly influence competition in private business. If Carnival Cruise is granted an exception to the EPA requirement to use clean diesel, that gives it an unfair advantage over its competitors.

State and county governments need to stop competing with each other using its citizens' heath and tax dollars as negotiating chips. Competition should be based on who can provide the best labor, resources, transportation or customers for the business.

In this case, the governor is saying a few more pollution-related deaths are an acceptable loss if it keeps Carnival from leaving Baltimore. What he fails to realize is that Carnival came to Baltimore because there are paying customers who want to embark from this port, not because of cheaper fuel.

Carnival is not going to leave if they have to use a more expensive fuel. And if they do I am sure another cruise line will be happy to take their place.

Frank Smith, Glen Burnie

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