The planet-savers in Madison do a lot of hand-wringing about agricultural runoff impairing the water quality in Dane County’s high-quality trout streams, so when we ran across a story in a Madison newspaper last week detailing deficiencies that contributed to a pair of immense manure spills, our first thought was that area farmers—and especially large livestock operations—were in for a rough time.
Our second thought, upon delving into the story, was, isn’t that just typical?
See, you need to read on until the 12th paragraph of the story before you find out that the spills in question, both in Dane County and two of the four largest in Wisconsin history, occurred at facilities owned and/or developed by entities of government.
One spill occurred at a University of Wisconsin research facility near Arlington, the other at a manure digester site near Waunakee, co-developed by private-sector investors and Dane County government using state tax dollars.
The kicker is that the story reveals both sites lacked the most rudimentary containment structures—a classic example of Liberal greenies exempting themselves from the sort of precautions they happily prescribe for everybody else.
The “nothing-can-go-wrong-because-we’re-the-good-people” attitude was fully on display in a 2009 press release with then-County Executive Kathleen Falk celebrating the Waunakee facility.
“By focusing our efforts to reduce algae-producing phosphorus and create green electricity,” Falk said, “our Cow-Power Project means clean lakes for our citizens to enjoy, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and local, good-paying green jobs”
Right, except when you don’t bother about accident prevention.
It’s all the more unfortunate because done right, digesters can actually be a good idea, solving a waste disposal problem and simultaneously producing reliable—if expensive—energy.
But in this case, apparently, it was good enough for government work.