You know how at the beginning of a Terminator movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger always looks just like a regular human being, but by the end his metallic body and crazy red cyborg eye are visible? That’s sort of happening with Gov. Martin O’Malley. Only instead of skin it’s ethics, and underneath it’s all cynical politics.

O’Malley has been pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to exempt Carnival Cruise Lines from a pending requirement for “large, ocean-going ships to burn cleaner fuel,” a measure that the EPA estimates could reduce air pollution not only on the coasts, but inland as well. 

But of course, as far O’Malley’s office would have it, the governor is “going to bat” for jobs. The company has threatened to pull Carnival Pride from the Port of Baltimore if they can’t continue on as they have been, and environment be damned. Er, no, they promise to install some alternative pollution-scrubbing devices on their ships at some indefinite point in the future.

And if anyone was wondering whether the EPA had any real weight to throw around, apparently the agency is “leaning toward granting” Carnival’s plea for “relief.”