Government must punish corporate polluters
Why does our government fail to act to prevent further trashing of the environment by corporations who do not see pollution prevention as worth the cost?
Many companies, Exxon included, operate in an environmentally irresponsible manner. I suggest that our government treat them the way it treats companies which act in a financially irresponsible manner. That is, by turning company operations over to a court-appointed trustee.
The trustee of the environmentally-offensive company would see that all creditors receive payment, selling company assets and reorganizing as necessary. The creditors in this case would be the government and the public. The company would owe the full price of restoring the environment to its unperturbed state, and the price of full economic and personal restitution to those whose lives are affected by the pollution.
Under the current system, the creditors of the environmental offender go unpaid. Take for example the recent Valdez oil spill, courtesy of Exxon Corporation. The government incurs a cost by cleaning up the mess (the inadequacy of Exxon's cleanup is already apparent). The local Alaskan public incur costs due to loss of fisheries and loss of businesses dependent on the fishing industry. The general public incurs the cost of increased oil prices which Exxon has already had the gall to announce. It seems unlikely that the government will make Exxon pay the full magnitude of these costs. Therefore, the present system must change.
The Valdez oil spill helps explain why our government has not implemented the common sense measure outlined here. To summarize, Exxon did not take the care to potty train its supertankers. The citizens of the United States have lost Prince William Sound. Exxon will not pay full restitution. Taxpayers will should the several forms of cost. Why? Because President George Bush is an old oil man. In other words, the polluters run the government.
Joseph Zaia G->