Why are power plants worth more than the health of 140,000 Maryland children afflicted with asthma? What about pregnant women eating mercury-tainted fish from the Chesapeake Bay? How could their risk be scored so low compared to a utility plant's profit?
And what of the boaters, watermen, crab house owners and all the others whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Chesapeake? Why should their interests come behind the mostly out-of-state industries that don't want to meet tougher federal clean air regulations?
The answer we are given is "jobs, jobs, jobs" — good-paying, steady employment that has become the Holy Grail of our recession-ridden times.