Did you know you could poison the drinking water for 300,000 people and the only penalty you’ll face will be an $11,000 fine?
Freedom Industries is the company responsible for the West Virgina Chemical Spill that took place in January. 10,000 gallons of the chemical MCHM (used in coal production) spilled into a river that was the main source of fresh drinking water for 300,000 civilians in West Virgina across nine counties in the western part of the state. They have been fined $11,000 by the Labor Department of the federal government.
Freedom Industries has since filed for bankruptcy, and a bill regulating chemical tanks has been passed in the wake of the spill. But $11,000 as a penalty for leaving 300,000 people without drinkable water for ten days?
My attention is pulled towards stories that involve mass poisoning of fresh water. A vast minority of the amount of water on planet Earth is drinkable. We can’t survive as a species without fresh water. Yet we seem content with having the essence of life poisoned at a rate that could be classified as habitual and doing virtually nothing about it. What does that say about us?
Poisoning the essence of life should at least carry a penalty similar to a DUI. I know people who have gotten DUI’s who have had to pay more than $11,000 when it was all said and done. Is drinking and driving a vehicle on an empty road in the middle of the night worse than poisoning water for 300,000 people?
40 people were sent to the hospital from drinking or simply being exposed to the contaminated water. If I did something that sent 40 people to the hospital, would I not face a penalty more severe than an $11,000 fine?
There is no law without order and no order without law. If people can get away with stealing, murder, and rape then it has been shown throughout history that people will murder, steal, and rape vastly more than if there are immediate and severe consequences for those evil actions.
I certainly classify poisoning water as an evil action, do you?
If we continue to let companies and corporations break the law without having to worry about the consequences everyday people have to worry about, why do we think they’ll do the right thing and follow the laws/rules? Do we think that for profit corporations will engage in a thought and decision-making process in a way that is evolved beyond human nature?
The Supreme Court has said that corporations are people. If companies and corporations are people, then shouldn’t we punish them for hurting people the way we punish individuals for hurting people?