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(Komo)   ExxonMobil found liable for $236 million in New Hampshire pollution trial. Company claims the amount as excessive, says it will take them more than three hours to make that much money back   (komonews.com) divider line 96
    More: Followup, ExxonMobil, New Hampshire, Exxon, groundwater contamination, Oppenheimer & Co., Legal liability, pollution, Fadel Gheit  
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2664 clicks; posted to Business » on 11 Apr 2013 at 10:09 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-11 10:14:52 AM  
Sadly, that number is barely an exaggeration. Exxon Mobil makes $160,000 per minute, for a profit of about $250 million per day.
 
2013-04-11 10:14:53 AM  
If an individual polluted on that scale they would face jail time, but corporation are people (with special privileged that makes them immune from criminal charges).  So they are like super people.
 
2013-04-11 10:15:23 AM  
Exxon....do what we say and nobody gets hurt.

One of the funniest SNL bits ever.
 
2013-04-11 10:15:25 AM  
Fark 'em. Fark 'em with a splintered railroad tie.

The fine shouldn't be a dollar value anyway, but a percent of income. 0.5% should be plenty. A penalty should really hurt them, maybe to dissuade them from damaging other people's property in the first place.
 
2013-04-11 10:16:39 AM  
Yeah but they can pay a team of lawyers maybe $20 million to fight the case and if they get the entire thing thrown out or even a fraction of the amount settled down to say $200 million, then it's a better investment to fight it than pay it.

This is how profit-motivated assholes think.
 
2013-04-11 10:20:09 AM  

The Irresponsible Captain: Fark 'em. Fark 'em with a splintered railroad tie.

The fine shouldn't be a dollar value anyway, but a percent of income. 0.5% should be plenty. A penalty should really hurt them, maybe to dissuade them from damaging other people's property in the first place.


What you are saying falls in line with a moronic comeback like "why does the left hate business?"

When you make as much as they do, as unethically as they do, and seem to have no real interest in moving towards cleaner, more ethical practices and products, you can absolutely suck it. The left and the right should hate businesses who behave as they do.

Sorry, I felt I needed to add that.
 
2013-04-11 10:20:49 AM  

bdub77: Yeah but they can pay a team of lawyers maybe $20 million to fight the case and if they get the entire thing thrown out or even a fraction of the amount settled down to say $200 million, then it's a better investment to fight it than pay it.

This is how profit-motivated assholes think.


You don't get rich by giving money away, or letting the little things slide. And you absolutely don't become the richest and most valuable company in the US by doing those things
 
2013-04-11 10:23:01 AM  

TimonC346: The Irresponsible Captain: Fark 'em. Fark 'em with a splintered railroad tie.

The fine shouldn't be a dollar value anyway, but a percent of income. 0.5% should be plenty. A penalty should really hurt them, maybe to dissuade them from damaging other people's property in the first place.

What you are saying falls in line with a moronic comeback like "why does the left hate business?"

When you make as much as they do, as unethically as they do, and seem to have no real interest in moving towards cleaner, more ethical practices and products, you can absolutely suck it. The left and the right should hate businesses who behave as they do.

Sorry, I felt I needed to add that.


Who do think funds all those campaign ads come election time?
 
2013-04-11 10:23:29 AM  
Make all the top Exxon executives stand on a street corner with a sign that says "I polluted your land for profit.  I'm a selfish asshole.  Buy Texaco!"
 
2013-04-11 10:24:33 AM  
They should have to pony up every farking penny NOW or we start executing the CEOs.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-04-11 10:25:43 AM  

whistleridge: bdub77: Yeah but they can pay a team of lawyers maybe $20 million to fight the case and if they get the entire thing thrown out or even a fraction of the amount settled down to say $200 million, then it's a better investment to fight it than pay it.

This is how profit-motivated assholes think.

You don't get rich by giving money away, or letting the little things slide. And you absolutely don't become the richest and most valuable company in the US by doing those things


Right.  You do it by getting the Congress to supplement your income with tax breaks, subsidies, and other corporate giveaways.

I am sick of people making corporate assholes to be heroes.  They're the great parasites of our time.
 
2013-04-11 10:26:06 AM  
How about 25% of their yearly income. A year. As forced donations?. And mandatory social service for top level execs as part of their job?.
 
2013-04-11 10:30:55 AM  

Nofun: TimonC346: The Irresponsible Captain:

Who do think funds all those campaign ads come election time?



Oh I know. I know so much.
 
2013-04-11 10:33:26 AM  
The god damn execs need to be out there cleaning it up along with their congressional puppets.
 
2013-04-11 10:33:28 AM  

whistleridge: Sadly, that number is barely an exaggeration. Exxon Mobil makes $160,000 per minute, for a profit of about $250 million per day.


How exactly do you throw a corporation in jail?

FYI executives of a corporation do go to jail.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-04-11 10:38:04 AM  

MugzyBrown: whistleridge: Sadly, that number is barely an exaggeration. Exxon Mobil makes $160,000 per minute, for a profit of about $250 million per day.

How exactly do you throw a corporation in jail?

FYI executives of a corporation do go to jail.


This only works when the executives of said corporation don't have a hold of the system through campaign cash.  And they do.

The CEOs are supposed to be worth lots of money and deserve their huge paychecks.  If that is true then they ought to be on the hook when the corporations perpetrate massive fraud.  This is exactly what happened with Rick Scott.  He got paid EXORBITANT wages by a company that perpetrated what was, at that time, the largest organized Medicare fraud in history.  What happened... he got made the Governor of Florida.
 
2013-04-11 10:39:33 AM  
Feds: Add MTBE to your gasoline in order to meet Clean Air Act requirements.
Gas/Oil Co: But MTBE is bad for groundwater.  Here, we did a study.  See?
Feds: Don't care.  Clean Air Act.  Oxygenate that gas.  Or else.
Gas/Oil Co: Okay, but we warned you.

20 years pass.

States: Um guys, this MTBE stuff is showing up in our ground water.
Feds: Talk to Gas/Oil, they're the ones using it.
Gas/Oil Co : See, we told you so.
States: Um yeah, we're filing suit.
Gas/Oil Co :  Good for you, go get 'em!
States: No, against you.  You thought we'd sue the Feds? Do we look that stupid?
Gas/Oil Co : What? The Feds made us put that stuff in there.  We even warned them.  Look we did a study.
States (at trial):  Gas/Oil Co, isn't it true that you knew about the dangers of MTBE 20 years ago, and even did a study to that effect?
Gas/Oil Co: Why you little farkers!
Jury: Verdict for States!
Fark: Yay! Stick it to Gas/Oil Co.  It should have been 1000 times more!

http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/gas.htm
http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/water.htm
 
2013-04-11 10:39:40 AM  

d23: whistleridge: bdub77: Yeah but they can pay a team of lawyers maybe $20 million to fight the case and if they get the entire thing thrown out or even a fraction of the amount settled down to say $200 million, then it's a better investment to fight it than pay it.

This is how profit-motivated assholes think.

You don't get rich by giving money away, or letting the little things slide. And you absolutely don't become the richest and most valuable company in the US by doing those things

Right.  You do it by getting the Congress to supplement your income with tax breaks, subsidies, and other corporate giveaways.

I am sick of people making corporate assholes to be heroes.  They're the great parasites of our time.


Oh, there's nothing heroic in what they do. I'm not defending them in the slightest. They're contemptible to ME.

I'm just saying that if they were nice folks with a strong sense of empathy and community involvement, they wouldn't be in business for very long, much less hugely profitable. They value the bottom line above all other things, and it shows. In more ways than one.
 
2013-04-11 10:43:20 AM  
Sure it's pocket-change to Exxon, but it's the principle of the thing. If Exxon allows New Hampshire to just fine them for pollution, any government may think that they're allowed to just willy-nilly sue Exxon for damages. Sue 'em back, Exxon! Break that state! That'll learn 'em.
 
2013-04-11 10:45:07 AM  

d23: The CEOs are supposed to be worth lots of money and deserve their huge paychecks. If that is true then they ought to be on the hook when the corporations perpetrate massive fraud


Sounds like your problem is with the government then, not corporations.

Executives can be held personally liable for their actions as officers of the company, both it criminal and civil courts.

Of course you need to prove the executives personally did something wrong.

This case hardly smacks of high-level corporate wrongdoing.
 
2013-04-11 10:52:08 AM  
Exxon is being held partly liable for MTBE contamination of groundwater. Exxon itself wasn't directly linked to the contamination - the state went after all of the oil companies doing business there after MTBE was found in the water.

The actual issue was that the leaks were from gas stations of all sorts - mostly from independent retailers who had the gasoline in old, leaky tanks.

The kicker is that the money is supposedly to be used for "remediation" - but you know that by the time the state gets around to actually working on it, most of the MTBE will have either degraded or evaporated... some bacteria eat MTBE.

Of course, the oil companies are switching from MTBE to other gas oxygenators - which cost more money, which means higher-priced gasoline, which is paid for by... oh. Right.

One of the solutions, instead of additives, is to just use higher-octane gasoline, which is starting to become more cost-effective after lawsuits like this.

/MTBE is not a carcinogen at the extremely low levels they're talking about
//It does foul up the taste of drinking water to an amazing degree - don't drink tap water in New Hampshire
 
2013-04-11 10:52:53 AM  

Talondel: Feds: Add MTBE to your gasoline in order to meet Clean Air Act requirements.
Gas/Oil Co: But MTBE is bad for groundwater.  Here, we did a study.  See?
Feds: Don't care.  Clean Air Act.  Oxygenate that gas.  Or else.
Gas/Oil Co: Okay, but we warned you.

20 years pass.

States: Um guys, this MTBE stuff is showing up in our ground water.
Feds: Talk to Gas/Oil, they're the ones using it.
Gas/Oil Co : See, we told you so.
States: Um yeah, we're filing suit.
Gas/Oil Co :  Good for you, go get 'em!
States: No, against you.  You thought we'd sue the Feds? Do we look that stupid?
Gas/Oil Co : What? The Feds made us put that stuff in there.  We even warned them.  Look we did a study.
States (at trial):  Gas/Oil Co, isn't it true that you knew about the dangers of MTBE 20 years ago, and even did a study to that effect?
Gas/Oil Co: Why you little farkers!
Jury: Verdict for States!
Fark: Yay! Stick it to Gas/Oil Co.  It should have been 1000 times more!

http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/gas.htm
http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/water.htm


Yup, pretty much this.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-04-11 10:56:19 AM  

MugzyBrown: d23: The CEOs are supposed to be worth lots of money and deserve their huge paychecks. If that is true then they ought to be on the hook when the corporations perpetrate massive fraud

Sounds like your problem is with the government then, not corporations.

Executives can be held personally liable for their actions as officers of the company, both it criminal and civil courts.

Of course you need to prove the executives personally did something wrong.

This case hardly smacks of high-level corporate wrongdoing.


It's both actually.   I am not sure how there are so many people that can pick the two apart.  When bribery occurs there are TWO parties that are at fault.

The was the right that got so angry when Clinton did something "because he could do it," and that was harmless.  Just saying "the Gummit allowed me to do it" isn't a good enough excuse here either.
 
2013-04-11 11:02:21 AM  

d23: It's both actually. I am not sure how there are so many people that can pick the two apart. When bribery occurs there are TWO parties that are at fault.

The was the right that got so angry when Clinton did something "because he could do it," and that was harmless. Just saying "the Gummit allowed me to do it" isn't a good enough excuse here either.


The more power and money you put into the hands of the government, the more cronyism, lobbying, bribes, etc there will be to take advantage of that power and get some of that money.  It's common sense.
 
2013-04-11 11:03:33 AM  
Arkansas suit up next. Nice to see the media was banned from filming the spill or the cleanup.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-04-11 11:04:13 AM  

MugzyBrown: d23: It's both actually. I am not sure how there are so many people that can pick the two apart. When bribery occurs there are TWO parties that are at fault.

The was the right that got so angry when Clinton did something "because he could do it," and that was harmless. Just saying "the Gummit allowed me to do it" isn't a good enough excuse here either.

The more power and money you put into the hands of the government, the more cronyism, lobbying, bribes, etc there will be to take advantage of that power and get some of that money.  It's common sense.


Then take it away.  I don't see many on the current edition of the "Right" seeming to be okay with limiting the amount of money going into politician's hands.
 
2013-04-11 11:11:09 AM  

d23: I don't see many on the current edition of the "Right" seeming to be okay with limiting the amount of money going into politician's hands.


If by right you mean Republicans.. then no, both D's & R's are deep into the pockets of corporations and want the power and money to direct.  They just differ on which rich guys get it.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-04-11 11:16:31 AM  

MugzyBrown: d23: I don't see many on the current edition of the "Right" seeming to be okay with limiting the amount of money going into politician's hands.

If by right you mean Republicans.. then no, both D's & R's are deep into the pockets of corporations and want the power and money to direct.  They just differ on which rich guys get it.


True... but the difference between the left and right at the moment is the Left is at least a little EMBARRASSED by that fact.  The Republicans are thriving on it.   But I want the lobbyist system reformed... and it isn't a partisan issue.  It's more of a "one man one vote issue."

Lessig just came out with a text version of his Ted talk called "Lesterland."  Everyone needs to read it... and I mean everyone.  It's the best explanation of why the system is not working that I've seen.
 
2013-04-11 11:21:43 AM  
I wonder what the vegas odds are that a judge will overule the Jury's finding upon appeal (donation to judge's non-profit / foundation / mistress fund)

Greg Palast does some good investigative reporting on energy companies.  Reading his reports aren't exactly fun reading (see depressing), so they don't get the attention they deserve.
 
2013-04-11 11:25:27 AM  

Talondel: Feds: Add MTBE to your gasoline in order to meet Clean Air Act requirements.
Gas/Oil Co: But MTBE is bad for groundwater.  Here, we did a study.  See?
Feds: Don't care.  Clean Air Act.  Oxygenate that gas.  Or else.
Gas/Oil Co: Okay, but we warned you.

20 years pass.

States: Um guys, this MTBE stuff is showing up in our ground water.
Feds: Talk to Gas/Oil, they're the ones using it.
Gas/Oil Co : See, we told you so.
States: Um yeah, we're filing suit.
Gas/Oil Co :  Good for you, go get 'em!
States: No, against you.  You thought we'd sue the Feds? Do we look that stupid?
Gas/Oil Co : What? The Feds made us put that stuff in there.  We even warned them.  Look we did a study.
States (at trial):  Gas/Oil Co, isn't it true that you knew about the dangers of MTBE 20 years ago, and even did a study to that effect?
Gas/Oil Co: Why you little farkers!
Jury: Verdict for States!
Fark: Yay! Stick it to Gas/Oil Co.  It should have been 1000 times more!

http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/gas.htm
http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/water.htm


image.spreadshirt.com
 
2013-04-11 11:25:54 AM  

Talondel: Feds: Add MTBE to your gasoline in order to meet Clean Air Act requirements.
Gas/Oil Co: But MTBE is bad for groundwater.  Here, we did a study.  See?
Feds: Don't care.  Clean Air Act.  Oxygenate that gas.  Or else.
Gas/Oil Co: Okay, but we warned you.

20 years pass.

States: Um guys, this MTBE stuff is showing up in our ground water.
Feds: Talk to Gas/Oil, they're the ones using it.
Gas/Oil Co : See, we told you so.
States: Um yeah, we're filing suit.
Gas/Oil Co :  Good for you, go get 'em!
States: No, against you.  You thought we'd sue the Feds? Do we look that stupid?
Gas/Oil Co : What? The Feds made us put that stuff in there.  We even warned them.  Look we did a study.
States (at trial):  Gas/Oil Co, isn't it true that you knew about the dangers of MTBE 20 years ago, and even did a study to that effect?
Gas/Oil Co: Why you little farkers!
Jury: Verdict for States!
Fark: Yay! Stick it to Gas/Oil Co.  It should have been 1000 times more!

http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/gas.htm
http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/water.htm


Yep.
 
2013-04-11 11:25:55 AM  

d23: Lessig just came out with a text version of his Ted talk called "Lesterland." Everyone needs to read it... and I mean everyone. It's the best explanation of why the system is not working that I've seen.


I read an excerpt and I think it is missing the point.

The problem isn't rich and powerful people buying elections, that's the symptom.  The problem is the fact that the government has slowly gotten its hands into every part of the economy, so controlling the government has become important.

The more influence the government has on the economy, the more people will want to control that influence.

Corporation X doesn't spend $100mm to elect a Republican because he likes Republicans, but because he thinks he can get $200mm back if a Republican is elected.
 
2013-04-11 11:40:12 AM  
I think if I ever snap and go on a killing spree I think I will incorporate myself first so I will be protected.
 
2013-04-11 11:47:43 AM  

Talondel: Feds: Add MTBE to your gasoline in order to meet Clean Air Act requirements.
Gas/Oil Co: But MTBE is bad for groundwater.  Here, we did a study.  See?
Feds: Don't care.  Clean Air Act.  Oxygenate that gas.   Or else.
Gas/Oil Co: Okay, but we warned you.

20 years pass.

States: Um guys, this MTBE stuff is showing up in our ground water.
Feds: Talk to Gas/Oil, they're the ones using it.
Gas/Oil Co : See, we told you so.
States: Um yeah, we're filing suit.
Gas/Oil Co :  Good for you, go get 'em!
States: No, against you.  You thought we'd sue the Feds? Do we look that stupid?
Gas/Oil Co : What? The Feds made us put that stuff in there.  We even warned them.  Look we did a study.
States (at trial):  Gas/Oil Co, isn't it true that you knew about the dangers of MTBE 20 years ago, and even did a study to that effect?
Gas/Oil Co: Why you little farkers!
Jury: Verdict for States!
Fark: Yay! Stick it to Gas/Oil Co.  It should have been 1000 times more!

http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/gas.htm
http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/water.htm


The Feds din't "make them" do anything.  If the oil companies didn't want to pollute ground water than they shouldnt have used MTBE, period.

If only here were some sort of way for energy companies to publish these issues with things like full page ads in newspapers and and TV ads pointing out the contradictive pressure the feds are putting them under.  Naw, let's just pollute ground water instead.
 
2013-04-11 11:52:18 AM  
Wonder if it would just be cheaper for Exxon to buy the State of New Hampshire. Maybe have Vermont thrown in for free.
 
2013-04-11 11:52:24 AM  
pegasusnews.com
$236 million? No sweat. I'll have accounting cut you a check.
 
2013-04-11 11:53:17 AM  

MugzyBrown: d23: Lessig just came out with a text version of his Ted talk called "Lesterland." Everyone needs to read it... and I mean everyone. It's the best explanation of why the system is not working that I've seen.

I read an excerpt and I think it is missing the point.

The problem isn't rich and powerful people buying elections, that's the symptom.  The problem is the fact that the government has slowly gotten its hands into every part of the economy, so controlling the government has become important.

The more influence the government has on the economy, the more people will want to control that influence.

Corporation X doesn't spend $100mm to elect a Republican because he likes Republicans, but because he thinks he can get $200mm back if a Republican is elected.


The bigger issue is the 1929 cap of the size of the House at 435,  it needs to be larger, if a on House member had to be accountable to a fewer number of people they just might remember who they are working for.
 
2013-04-11 12:05:35 PM  
Booo Hooo, Exxon gets to write off its expenses just like every hot dog salesman can.
 
2013-04-11 12:05:44 PM  

MugzyBrown: FYI executives of a corporation do go to jail.


Rarely. So rarely that when it does happen, it is newsworthy at the "man bites dog" level. Making CEOs criminally liable for the criminal actions of the corporations they run and applying the rule strictly would do more to encourage ethical conduct than any one other step.

Just look at the way they howled when they were made responsible for the truthfulness of their companies' financial statements under Sarbanes-Oxley.
 
2013-04-11 12:11:17 PM  

MugzyBrown: FYI executives of a corporation do go to jail.


Well that explains overcrowding in the prisons.
 
2013-04-11 12:13:09 PM  

EdNortonsTwin: The Feds din't "make them" do anything. If the oil companies didn't want to pollute ground water than they shouldnt have used MTBE, period.

If only here were some sort of way for energy companies to publish these issues with things like full page ads in newspapers and and TV ads pointing out the contradictive pressure the feds are putting them under. Naw, let's just pollute ground water instead.


Since 1992, MTBE has been used at higher concentrations in some gasoline to fulfill the oxygenate requirements set by Congress in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.

http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/gas.htm

I guess it depends on what you mean by 'make them.'  I think most people think of 'Do it, under penalty of law' as being forced to do it.  In your view, the next time the federal government passes a law someone doesn't like, they should just ignore it until someone gets thrown in jail?  Or would being thrown in jail still not qualify as being 'forced.'  I mean, they could have chosen jail over groundwater contamination, right?

The only viable alternative to MTBE that existed at the time (and for the most part, this continues to be true today) in ethanol, and that has similar groundwater contamination problems.
 
2013-04-11 12:18:45 PM  
Well the company was in court up until 2009 trying to fight paying for the Valdez and the damage it did.  So what do you expect?

At least BP was smart enough to open the checkbook when the courts started glaring at them and wrote a big enough check to get their name out of the news cycle.
 
2013-04-11 12:22:46 PM  

MugzyBrown: d23: Lessig just came out with a text version of his Ted talk called "Lesterland." Everyone needs to read it... and I mean everyone. It's the best explanation of why the system is not working that I've seen.

 
Corporation X doesn't spend $100mm to elect a Republican because he likes Republicans, but because he thinks he can get $200mm back if a Republican is elected.


I wonder why corporations donate to Democrat campaigns, then?
 
2013-04-11 12:26:06 PM  
b.vimeocdn.com

...and the Wyrm wins again. It's enough to make you really angry...
 
2013-04-11 12:27:41 PM  

CheatCommando: Rarely. So rarely that when it does happen, it is newsworthy at the "man bites dog" level. Making CEOs criminally liable for the criminal actions of the corporations they run and applying the rule strictly would do more to encourage ethical conduct than any one other step.


How does a corporation commit a criminal act?  People commit criminal acts and people go to jail.  A CEO is criminally liable for his criminal acts. Should a CEO go to jail if the CFO raids the pension fund?
 
2013-04-11 12:29:41 PM  

Nutsac_Jim: I wonder why corporations donate to Democrat campaigns, then?


Because they will get money from Democrats too... not that hard to follow my point of view
 
2013-04-11 12:58:03 PM  

Talondel: EdNortonsTwin: The Feds din't "make them" do anything. If the oil companies didn't want to pollute ground water than they shouldnt have used MTBE, period.

If only here were some sort of way for energy companies to publish these issues with things like full page ads in newspapers and and TV ads pointing out the contradictive pressure the feds are putting them under. Naw, let's just pollute ground water instead.

Since 1992, MTBE has been used at higher concentrations in some gasoline to fulfill the oxygenate requirements set by Congress in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.

http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/gas.htm

I guess it depends on what you mean by 'make them.'  I think most people think of 'Do it, under penalty of law' as being forced to do it.  In your view, the next time the federal government passes a law someone doesn't like, they should just ignore it until someone gets thrown in jail?  Or would being thrown in jail still not qualify as being 'forced.'  I mean, they could have chosen jail over groundwater contamination, right?

The only viable alternative to MTBE that existed at the time (and for the most part, this continues to be true today) in ethanol, and that has similar groundwater contamination problems.

 ----
They, could have chose neither, but  they made their choice, and now they have to pay for for it.  You make it sound like whichever executives were responsible for releasing the fuel with the pollutant had no choice; like there some sort of gun to their head.

Reminds me of mothers who let their children get abused by their spouse because they don't want to caus a fuss or turn their lives upside down by turning on their husbands.

As I stated before on the issue pf PR -  BP had no problem spending a fortune on television and print campaigns stating how they are protecting people in the gulf post disaster.  If they can do mop-up, they can do preventative, but the CHOSE not to make stand for anything other than their own profit.
 
2013-04-11 01:11:48 PM  

MugzyBrown: CheatCommando: Rarely. So rarely that when it does happen, it is newsworthy at the "man bites dog" level. Making CEOs criminally liable for the criminal actions of the corporations they run and applying the rule strictly would do more to encourage ethical conduct than any one other step.

How does a corporation commit a criminal act?  People commit criminal acts and people go to jail.  A CEO is criminally liable for his criminal acts. Should a CEO go to jail if the CFO raids the pension fund?


They knowingly launder money for drug cartels, rogue states and terrorist organizations.  Of course it helps to have the worst justice department since Nixon covering for you.
 
2013-04-11 01:11:53 PM  
EdNortonsTwin:
The Feds din't "make them" do anything. If the oil companies didn't want to pollute ground water than they shouldnt have used MTBE, period.

As pointed out above, the government pretty much did make them use MTBE. You see, according to the air pollution rules, gasoline needed to be "oxygenated" to burn cleaner. There were a few options, but the only one that was really useful and commercially viable was MTBE. Besides lowering pollution overall, it also kept the MPG pretty close to target.

Don't forget, the whole fuel industry was having to work with the car industry to make a "package" that would emit less pollutants while at the same time increasing gas mileage - and the EPA (among other agencies) basically said "use this, it's the one we know will work, we're not approving anything else that is cost-effective." Effectively, the EPA mandated using MTBE. When California banned it a number of years ago, quite a few people at the EPA were pissed at them for doing so.

The Feds actually sued California for banning MTBE.

The biggest nongovernmental booster of MTBE? The Natural Resources Defense Council.

Now, the oil companies are using other chemicals (like ethanol), which does impact fuel efficiency, and gets a huge amount of Federal subsidies per year. Overall, the swap from MTBE to ethanol is costing you a good fifteen percent more in dollars per mile traveled...
 
2013-04-11 01:13:36 PM  
EdNortons Twin:
They, could have chose neither, but they made their choice, and now they have to pay for for it. You make it sound like whichever executives were responsible for releasing the fuel with the pollutant had no choice; like there some sort of gun to their head.

You could shorten that up a lot by just saying "The EPA."
 
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