Uncommon Sense

May 28, 2014

Aw, shit!

According to the AP:

The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it had reached an enforceable deal with Duke Energy to clean up its mess from a huge coal ash spill into the Dan River. The Feb. 2 spill coated 70 miles of the river in North Carolina and Virginia with toxic gray sludge. The E.P.A. will oversee the cleanup in consultation with federal wildlife officials under provisions in the Superfund law. Duke will reimburse the federal government for its oversight costs, including those incurred in the emergency response to the spill. Coal ash, the byproduct left behind when coal is burned to generate electricity, contains numerous toxic substances, including arsenic, selenium, chromium, thallium, mercury and lead. The agreement makes no mention of any fines imposed against Duke.

The key words are “Duke will reimburse the federal government for its oversight costs” (my emphasis) meaning that others will pay for the actual cleanup costs, while Duke, which caused the mess, will pay whoever watches the cleanup to make sure it is done right.

Crony capitalism wins again!

April 8, 2014

Republicans: “We Need Less Government Regulation and Here’s Why”

(Speech delivered at the Get Government Off the Backs of the Job Creators Conference in Lubbock, Texas)
We Republicans argue that if we, in the form of the government, would just “get out of the corporation’s way” by reducing or eliminating regulations, especially environmental regulations, the corporations would be unleashed job creators and we would all be better off. Recent events prove our case.

Just a few days ago the Anadarko Corporation paid the largest cash settlement of a government environmental suit against it ever levied, $5.15 billion dollars. For years and years a subsidiary company if its was disposing of deadly nuclear waste but doing things like burying it in the back yard instead of disposing of it “according to regulations.” There are now apparently thousands of these toxic and radioactively contaminated sites that need to be cleaned up. When the settlement was announced, the corporation’s stock price rose dramatically. Why? Because a previous judge in the case had estimated the cleanup costs at $14 billion dollars, leaving the government to foot the bill for the difference over the $5 billion. So, the corporation got “less regulation” and the people were happy and bought up its stock, so much so that the value of the corporation’s own holdings went up more than the $5 billion they paid. See?

“ …  corporations really are people, good people, who have your best interests in mind. ” 

In North Carolina, Duke Energy had to go to the trouble to get its corporate president elected Governor of the state to get all of the environmental problems with its handling of its toxic coal ash pits all over the state. (Coal ash being what’s left over when you burn coal, being liberally laced with toxic heavy metals.) So what if they have been illegally pumping water that accumulates in these ponds from rain, dissolving some of the toxins, untreated into the state’s rivers? So what if a couple of these ponds collapsed completely dumping thousands of tons of that heady brew in nearby rivers? Water always flows to the sea, no? We learned that in science class in school. It would be unnatural if it didn’t. Think of all the money spent on getting Duke Energy’s president elected North Carolina’s Governor. All of that money would have been better spent creating jobs, like coal ash pit pump operator and security guards for when they were doing that.

And all of those oil spills from the BP, uh, incident in the Gulf of Mexico, to the Canadian and U.S. pipeline ruptures, uh, leaks, to the rail car dumps of oil. You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, such is the cost of doing business. And having to pay to clean all of that stuff up, even with the generous discounts our politicians and lawyers arranged, well that’s expensive, and the money would have been better spent creating jobs.

And don’t get me started about “fracking.” Every time a corporation comes up with a new, job-creating technology, the damned gov’mint regulators start champing at the bit to write new regulations … as if the old one’s somehow wouldn’t work. This just cannot continue this way.

You see, do you not, that corporations really are people, good people, who have your best interests in mind. And why would we want to shackle them with unneeded regulations?

The Republican Party is the only party that stands ready, eagerly so, to liberate our corporations from this unnecessary and counterproductive burden. A vote for a Republican is a vote for freedom!

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