In West Virginia, investigators are still trying to figure out how 7,500 gallons of a chemical used to clean coal leaked from a storage facility into the Elk River, leaving 300 thousand people without potable water for several days.
Yes, I did just write “a chemical used to clean coal.” Funny, according to our government and the media, I thought we were mining “clean” coal! How did coal ever get so dirty that it now needs to be cleaned? Go figure!
Anyway, The spill is the third major chemical accident in the region in the last five years. How many minor chemical spills there have been is still a mystery…just like clean coal I guess, but companies that pollute state waters are rarely fined and most industrial facilities are rarely inspected. I believe that this particular company was last inspected in the 1990′s so how much could they have screwed up since then? I’m sure that where you work not once being inspected or evaluated or observed by your boss over the last 20 or so years would little affect your job performance…am I correct?
And get this…The federal government’s main law regulating chemicals, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, does not require manufacturers to show that their products are safe before they can be used, instead the law places the burden of proof on the Environmental Protection Agency. The result is that the E.P.A. has only tested around 200 of over 85,000 chemicals in use today..and you thought that after they killed Jaws it was safe to go back into the water.
But still there are many among us who cry out that government is too big and too restrictive and that we have too many regulations that keep companies and corporations from being profitable and making a decent living so they can provide jobs to our citizens. And now that corporations are people too you’d think that they might be held a little bit more accountable for the destruction they reign upon our environment and our citizens.
Try poisoning 7,500 gallons of coffee at work tomorrow and see if you get in any trouble. I bet there’s a regulation against your doing that. That’s just bad big government trying to spoil your productivity.
So what’s the big deal anyway? Most of us don’t live in West Virginia or in other polluted places where, well…people just don’t live…but the more we deregulate and the smaller and smaller and less responsive we let our government become the harder it is to stand up against large unregulated corporations and the harder it will become to find nice clean places to live…
Just get a load of China where just about everyone else lives, or at least 1 in every 6 of us, and there they have learned how to live with big unregulated corporations that help their economy to grow and grow while their environment coughs, wheezes and rubs its eyes. There as this season’s first wave of toxic smog rolled into their cities they put on their “air” masks (nice new name for a gas mask, huh?) and went outside to watch the sunrise…on television!
Yes, there the political leaders know just what the people need and want from their giant corporate fed government to help deliver them from rules, regulations and taxation as they all move forward into their bright bright future…
It’s certainly not bigger government that the people want… The people want BIGGER TVs!