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The Tennessee Valley authority has revealed that the cleanup cost for the rupture of a containment pond in East Tennessee could reach the $825 million mark. When that containment pond ruptured, more than a billion gallons of coal ash sludge flooded homes and waterways near the Kingston Fossil Plant. This cost only covers the amount it will take to clean up the coal sludge. It does not take into account any fines levied or the financial impact on affected residents in the area.

In a perfect world, government regulation would not be necessary. Not only is our world imperfect, however, it is very imperfect. Setting and enforcing standards that protect human health and safety are perfect examples of the government’s role. We have been told, for the longest time, that government regulations are just not necessary and inhibit the free flow of capitalism. In his first inaugural address, Ronald Reagan said that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” The various crises that have befallen us over the last few years indicate otherwise.

I sincerely hope (and believe) that this Administration is taking a long hard look at environmental regulations, both those rolled back by the Bush Administration and those of which have not yet been enacted. If we do not do something soon, we may run out of time. You talk about leaving a problem for future generations …

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