POISONING PEOPLE FOR PROFIT?
206 million pounds of toxic chemicals into our waterways every year
WHY NOT! IT’S THE AMERICAN WAY!
A feature of my ongoing research is that however egregious I find some corporate behavior to be—to the point where I feel that what I’m writing lacks credibility—because it seems too outrageous—the reality often tends out to be decidedly worse.
Corporations continue to behave this way because:
- Such behavior, even if illegal, is profitable.
- It’s easier.
- They have enough power and influence to blunt or neutralize the impact of the law.
- Corporate executives are not punished personally—and corporate fines are paltry and regarded as just a cost of doing business.
- They have no sense of social concern.
- They are arrogant.
- They are careless of the consequences—even to themselves.
- They don’t care.
Recent corporate behavior—despite the 1972 Clean Water Act—illustrates what I’m saying perfectly.
The important word here is ‘despite.’ Where large corporations are concerned, the law—in all too many cases—is regarded as little more than an inconvenience—which, all too often, can be overcome.
From www.ecowatch.com commenting on a new report from Environment America, Polluting Politics: Political Spending by Companies Dumping Toxics in our Waters
Those are regulations the public likes and wants. But to a large degree, the public interest has been trumped by several U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 2006 that have left half the country’s waterways—which provide drinking water for a third of Americans—vulnerable to toxic pollution. And these big spender have swooped in to try to exploit those loopholes.
The report reveals that currently, half of the U.S.’s lakes, rivers and streams are unsafe for fishing, swimming and drinking, and that 206 million pounds of toxic materials are dumped in our waterways each year. Polluting Politicsties some of the polluters to investments in political candidates who might work to minimize CWA protections.
“As it turns out, the same companies that are polluting our waterways with toxic chemicals are also polluting our politics with their spending,” said report author Ally Fields, clean water advocate at Environment America.
What these companies want is to stave off regulations that would limit the discharge of industrial chemicals from fracking and agricultural runoff (especially from factory farms), and restore wetlands and protect them against development. Those are regulations the public likes and wants. But to a large degree, the public interest has been trumped by several U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 2006 that have left half the country’s waterways—which provide drinking water for a third of Americans—vulnerable to toxic pollution. And these big spender have swooped in to try to exploit those loopholes.
The Rich apart (which, generally speaking, they are—because they both choose, and can afford, to be) Americans live sicker—and die roughly three years sooner than the citizens of other developed nations. Lifestyle is certainly part of it—but 206 million pounds of toxic chemicals can scarcely be ignored.
Yet issues like this are largely ignored.
‘Largely ignored’ is a phrase which could well be inserted after most pieces that I write about issues of public concern. We are not a ‘can-do’ nation any more—and haven’t been for a very long time.
It often seems to me that we were not just defeated militarily in Vietnam, but lost our confidence too. That gave the Right Wing an opening—which they have certainly availed of. All that nonsense about We The People has been stripped out.
The U.S. is now a corporate profit center run by the Ultra-Rich and their followers for their own benefit.
It’s the American Way. It’s yet another part of the American Tragedy.
Such a great experiment—yet such a fatalistic decline.
VOR words c. 350.