Showing posts with label Environmental Protection Agency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Environmental Protection Agency. Show all posts

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Return of The Son of Corporate Force

In comments, I recently asked the question

What happens when that individual liberty is threatened or taken away by private corporations?

to which I got the following responses.

"I'll go first, but I'm sure your last comment will be brutalized. "

"Oh lawdie, lawdie, you aren't going for another Corporate Abuse are you? Seriously, that horse is DEAD."

"1. The Federal government's job is to limit the use of fraud or force. If a private corporation tries to persuade you or pressure you economically to give up your freedom, it is not the government's job to forcibly curtail your freedom to be a dumbass."

"2. I have yet to see you demonstrate where a private corporation has curtailed freedom through fraud or force except through the agency of government. So "step in" and do what, exactly? Defend the corporation that has already bought them out, as evidenced by the fact that they are already able to use government as an agency of force against you?"

"You got anything but a handful of bullshit?"

"Show me an example where a private corporation has curtailed freedom and we'll talk."

Sure. Let's talk.

A while back I came across this piece regarding the situation in Mossville, Louisiana. I didn't write anything about it because I wanted to see how some things played out first but here is the gist of what is going on. Apparently, several companies including Citgo, Firestone and PPG industries have turned this area of our country into a toxic wasteland. To be quite frank, they have killed people. And our government has done nothing about it for DECADES.

Now, to be fair, they haven't exactly curtailed freedom in the strictest sense of the word...that is, of course, if you consider being dead being "free." From my standpoint, living a life free of cancer would be a nice freedom to have. Sadly, that is not the case for the residents of Mossville.

"I got cancer. My dad had cancer. In fact, he died of cancer. It's a lot of people in this area who died of cancer," says Herman Singleton Jr., 51, who also lost two uncles and an aunt to cancer.

Singleton and many others in this predominantly African-American community in southwest Louisiana suspect the 14 chemical plants nearby have played a role in the cancer and other diseases they say have ravaged the area.

For decades, Mossville residents have complained about their health problems to industry, and to state and federal agencies. Now with a new Environmental Protection Agency administrator outspoken about her commitment to environmental justice, expectations are growing.

As of this writing, the only "justice" they have received has come in two forms. The first was winning a hearing before the International Commission on Human Rights which means basically zilch to corporate America.

African-American residents of Mossville, a community just west of Lake Charles, have won a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on charges that the U.S. government has violated their rights to privacy and racial equality in not forcing local chemical plants to stop polluting.

Racial equality? Oh boy...that's going to drive the Cult into an apoplectic rage:)

Mossville is adjacent to 14 chemical plants and refineries that release millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, land and water each year, according to federal and state records. Several of the companies and their predecessors have been involved in releases of chemicals that have eaten the paint off cars, killed bushes and trees in people's front yards, and polluted adjacent waterways.

Wow. It sounds like their lives are filled with freedom....

The second form of "justice" was the EPA getting off their asses and agreeing to do testing to see if Mossville qualifies for Superfund assistance from the government. But all that would do is pay off the residents and help them relocate. The 14 companies that are operating there would continue merrily along. Take a look at this report which contains details and data of what they have been up to around Mossville. This report was from 13 years ago! And now something is finally being done?

One of my favorite commenters, Ed Heckman, wrote this in another thread.

How many times do we have to tell you that one of the legitimate purposes of government is to prevent the use of force and fraud before you understand that we mean that force and fraud are wrong, and that therefore, we are NOT promoting a completely unregulated market?

I guess what I'm wondering in regards to the Eds of our country is if the government's job is to prevent force, which in this case is essentially forcing people into ill health and death, AND if our government has become overrun by Socialism/Marxism/Fascism, where exactly is the government when it comes to Mossville? What would you have them do?

The reality is that Mossville is yet another example of how the massive deregulation of the last 30 years has removed government protection and allowed corporations to act as they desire. If people like Ed are not promoting a completely unregulated market, why is it that they support interests that allow the Mossvilles of our country to happen? And don't think for a moment that this is the only area of the country where corporations get to do whatever they want.

Take a look at this map and see how your state ranks.

But the real disconnect from reality that I don't understand will surely come in comments for this post. I was asked to show an example of how a corporation has curtailed the freedom of individual citizens. I have now done that and have called for the legitimate action by government (that has done NOTHING) to stop this horrendous situation that has been going on for decades. What does this mean?

Basically, I'm a Marxist.