Debunking Myth and Dislodging Ideology

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has recently released a report  – Debunking the Job Killer Myth – describing the various economic benefits that can be expected to flow from implementation of pollution control strategies and measures under the Bay TMDL.  The report also shows how polluters and their allies always claim that environmental regulations will produce job losses – losses that simply do not occur.

We think it is important to diligently contest the lies and inaccuracies that are recycled by polluters and their allies, and we applaud the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for doing so. We also recognize, however, that facts often constitute a feeble defense against ideology.

The impact of what CBF calls the ‘job killer myth’ is a function of how it both confirms and reinforces  a broader ideological narrative about ‘the market’ as the fount of freedom and prosperity and ‘government’ as, at best, a necessary evil. So long as the hold of this narrative persists, the ‘facts’ about the economic impact of environmental regulations  – important as they are – will have limited effect on our fellow citizens.

The fight to save the bay takes place against a potent ideological backdrop. Until we recognize and address that, we will be fighting with one hand tied behind our backs.