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(CNN)   Company connected to West Virginia chemical spill that contaminated water for more than 300,000 people, Freedom Industries, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Well that didn't take long   (cnn.com) divider line 142
    More: Followup, chemical accident, West Virginia, clean coal, United States bankruptcy court, water pollutions, bankruptcy, safe  
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4596 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Jan 2014 at 5:24 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



142 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-17 03:47:59 PM  
See? There IS a death penalty for companies! (After the execs and decision-makers have taken home their 8-figure golden parachutes.)
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-01-17 03:53:20 PM  
You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.
 
2014-01-17 03:59:35 PM  

d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.


It's a bit early to conclude that. Chapter 11 is reorganization, not liquidation.
 
2014-01-17 04:38:04 PM  

Nabb1: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

It's a bit early to conclude that. Chapter 11 is reorganization, not liquidation.


Still, unless I'm mistake, I think tort claims, settlements and court decisions are unsecured creditors, and lenders come first in order of payment priorities, no?
 
2014-01-17 04:53:26 PM  
Could I kill someone one day, declare moral bankruptcy the next day and walk away from the whole thing? If corporations are going to be people I want to be a corporation.
 
2014-01-17 04:56:08 PM  

Nabb1: Chapter 11 is reorganization, not liquidation.


Well, you wouldn't want these guys around anything liquid again,  now, would you?
 
2014-01-17 04:57:33 PM  

DamnYankees: Nabb1: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

It's a bit early to conclude that. Chapter 11 is reorganization, not liquidation.

Still, unless I'm mistake, I think tort claims, settlements and court decisions are unsecured creditors, and lenders come first in order of payment priorities, no?


I think you are right, but I don't know if judgment debtors can be discharged, either, so they could still be on the hook. Bankruptcy is not my bag, though. Also, from what I've read, the guy that runs this operation is pretty shady. If he broke any laws, he can't hide behind the corporation.
 
2014-01-17 04:57:44 PM  
The chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, got into water supplies after it leaked out of a storage tank and poured into the Elk River near an intake for a West Virginia American Water Co. treatment plant.

Officials detected the 7,000-gallon leak eight days ago, on January 9. More than 7,000 gallons of the chemical, which is used to clean coal, leaked into the river, according to officials.


I don't see what the big problem is.  It's basically soap.
 
2014-01-17 04:58:17 PM  

vudukungfu: Nabb1: Chapter 11 is reorganization, not liquidation.

Well, you wouldn't want these guys around anything liquid again,  now, would you?


{rimshot}
 
2014-01-17 04:58:56 PM  

Nabb1: I think you are right, but I don't know if judgment debtors can be discharged, either, so they could still be on the hook. Bankruptcy is not my bag, though. Also, from what I've read, the guy that runs this operation is pretty shady. If he broke any laws, he can't hide behind the corporation.


There's also no way he has enough personal wealth to cover the damages.
 
2014-01-17 05:27:37 PM  
"Freedom Industries"? Oh come on
 
2014-01-17 05:28:05 PM  

Nabb1: If he broke any laws, he can't hide behind the corporation.


He can, however, hide behind pushing back against the WAR ON COAL (TM)!
 
2014-01-17 05:28:59 PM  

you are a puppet: "Freedom Industries"? Oh come on


Why are you against Coal, "America's Fuel" (TM)?
 
MFK
2014-01-17 05:29:39 PM  

d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.


Can they really get off the hook this easy?
 
2014-01-17 05:29:55 PM  

Nabb1: If he broke any laws, he can't hide behind the corporation.


oh wow, does that only work for money laundering?
 
2014-01-17 05:30:00 PM  
So they're going to spin off all of their business into their new business next week?
 
2014-01-17 05:30:02 PM  
I would just love to see the maintenance, safety records, and bookkeeping practices they employed just prior to announcing the spill.
/no I wouldn't.  Someone just tell me they were corrupt.
 
2014-01-17 05:30:28 PM  
How exciting! This enables the Job Creators to make a clean break from the overbearing regulators who are crushing the free market. Now they can move their assets to another corporate structure, and continue adding Freedom Chemicals to water in other places. Yay Land of Opportunity!
 
2014-01-17 05:30:29 PM  

d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.


The Federal Prosecutors are talking about "piercing the corporate veil", in other words prosecuting the actual executives personally for this instead of the company.

The US Attorney for that area lives in Charleston, and was personally affected by this, I think he's personally irate with Freedom Industries and is going to see if he can land every one of those SOB's in Federal PMITA prison.
 
2014-01-17 05:31:21 PM  

Diogenes: The chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, got into water supplies after it leaked out of a storage tank and poured into the Elk River near an intake for a West Virginia American Water Co. treatment plant.

Officials detected the 7,000-gallon leak eight days ago, on January 9. More than 7,000 gallons of the chemical, which is used to clean coal, leaked into the river, according to officials.

I don't see what the big problem is.  It's basically soap.


Then go ahead and drink a glass of it.
 
2014-01-17 05:31:45 PM  

TwoHead: Could I kill someone one day, declare moral bankruptcy the next day and walk away from the whole thing? If corporations are going to be people I want to be a corporation.


Heh, that's why one of the main characters in my novel incorporates herself.
 
2014-01-17 05:32:02 PM  

MFK: Can they really get off the hook this easy?


They aren't really off the hook.  They are incurring expenses at a rate that prevents them from servicing loans, paying vendors, etc. and Chapter 11 is a court-sanctioned way to prioritize how they spend what they have until they restructure loans and/or start bringing money in again.
 
2014-01-17 05:32:07 PM  
Back in the day the guy who owned that company would have gotten lynched, possibly tarred and feathered. Now he goes bankrupt and gets to go setup another company and pull this shiat some place else. This is like his third time doing that isn't it?
 
2014-01-17 05:32:17 PM  

Diogenes: I don't see what the big problem is.  It's basically soap.


Soap poisoning.

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-01-17 05:33:32 PM  
In a previous thread, someone mentioned that they were a subsidiary ultimately of the Koch Brothers.  I wouldn't be surprised if they were, but is there proof?  Others in that thread were skeptical too.  Was any proof provided that they're at the far end of the line?
 
2014-01-17 05:33:56 PM  
I heard this while I was out walking the dog, and I started yelling at clouds. "Of course you did! You motherfarkers!!"
 
2014-01-17 05:34:37 PM  

vudukungfu: Nabb1: Chapter 11 is reorganization, not liquidation.

Well, you wouldn't want these guys around anything liquid again,  now, would you?


You've won Fark today. There won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.
 
2014-01-17 05:34:38 PM  

MadCat221: Diogenes: The chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, got into water supplies after it leaked out of a storage tank and poured into the Elk River near an intake for a West Virginia American Water Co. treatment plant.

Officials detected the 7,000-gallon leak eight days ago, on January 9. More than 7,000 gallons of the chemical, which is used to clean coal, leaked into the river, according to officials.

I don't see what the big problem is.  It's basically soap.

Then go ahead and drink a glass of it.


Just as soon as you tune your snark meter.
 
2014-01-17 05:35:05 PM  

Silverstaff: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

The Federal Prosecutors are talking about "piercing the corporate veil", in other words prosecuting the actual executives personally for this instead of the company.

The US Attorney for that area lives in Charleston, and was personally affected by this, I think he's personally irate with Freedom Industries and is going to see if he can land every one of those SOB's in Federal PMITA prison.


Right up until the moment someone hands him a big, fat check, I'm sure he has every intention of prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law.
 
2014-01-17 05:35:17 PM  

DamnYankees: Nabb1: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

It's a bit early to conclude that. Chapter 11 is reorganization, not liquidation.

Still, unless I'm mistake, I think tort claims, settlements and court decisions are unsecured creditors, and lenders come first in order of payment priorities, no?


But there hasn't even been a criminal or civil trial yet! How can they discharge a finding of liability if it hasn't been found yet?

If I found a company (ConHugeCo, LLC) in 2002 and wind it up and close up shop in 2005, my company can still be charged with crimes (assuming the statute of limitations hasn't passed) in 2006 for corporate activities between 2002-2005, correct? (If not, WTF.)

Or, since the company would have "no assets" by then, he gets to skate?

// hiding get-rich-quick malfeasance behind a corporate charter, and no punishment/penalty for the Top Guy - ain't that America?
 
2014-01-17 05:35:30 PM  

Nabb1: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

It's a bit early to conclude that. Chapter 11 is reorganization, not liquidation.



So they may come back more powerful than we can possibly imagine.
 
2014-01-17 05:35:38 PM  

Silverstaff: The US Attorney for that area lives in Charleston, and was personally affected by this, I think he's personally irate with Freedom Industries and is going to see if he can land every one of those SOB's in Federal PMITA prison.


Which is basically the same reason Bernie Maddoff went to jail and Jamie Dimon is still livin' large. Madoff stole from the people who mattered, so he got the full force of the law. Dimon simply farked over millions who can't turn proper regulation into a personal vendetta.
 
2014-01-17 05:36:22 PM  

MadCat221: Then go ahead and drink a glass of it.


He can't; it has a terrible interaction with the fracking fluid he drank the other night to win a bar bet. Otherwise he would.
 
2014-01-17 05:36:28 PM  

Hollie Maea: you are a puppet: "Freedom Industries"? Oh come on

Why are you against Coal, "America's Fuel" (TM)?


So one of those Coal Council creeps got to you too huh?

/too obscure
 
2014-01-17 05:36:54 PM  
Clean coal, eh?
 
2014-01-17 05:37:14 PM  

MadCat221: Diogenes: The chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, got into water supplies after it leaked out of a storage tank and poured into the Elk River near an intake for a West Virginia American Water Co. treatment plant.

Officials detected the 7,000-gallon leak eight days ago, on January 9. More than 7,000 gallons of the chemical, which is used to clean coal, leaked into the river, according to officials.

I don't see what the big problem is.  It's basically soap.

Then go ahead and drink a glass of it.


And add some delicious pepper spray!
 
2014-01-17 05:38:10 PM  

Mrtraveler01: /too obscure


cdn.alltheragefaces.com
 
2014-01-17 05:38:23 PM  

Mrtraveler01: Hollie Maea: you are a puppet: "Freedom Industries"? Oh come on

Why are you against Coal, "America's Fuel" (TM)?

So one of those Coal Council creeps got to you too huh?

/too obscure


You'd better run, egg!
 
2014-01-17 05:38:37 PM  
I guess Freedom really IS just a word for "nothing left to lose."
 
2014-01-17 05:39:04 PM  

cryinoutloud: I heard this while I was out walking the dog, and I started yelling at clouds. "Of course you did! You motherfarkers!!"



I saw that. Several teenagers immediately got off your lawn.  Good job!
 
2014-01-17 05:40:31 PM  

Diogenes: The chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, got into water supplies after it leaked out of a storage tank and poured into the Elk River near an intake for a West Virginia American Water Co. treatment plant.

Officials detected the 7,000-gallon leak eight days ago, on January 9. More than 7,000 gallons of the chemical, which is used to clean coal, leaked into the river, according to officials.

I don't see what the big problem is.  It's basically soap.


You could work in corporate PR.
 
2014-01-17 05:40:57 PM  
Freedom Industries?

Holy Carp, did they get that from the Orwellian Company Name Generator?
 
2014-01-17 05:42:13 PM  

Silverstaff: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

The Federal Prosecutors are talking about "piercing the corporate veil", in other words prosecuting the actual executives personally for this instead of the company.

The US Attorney for that area lives in Charleston, and was personally affected by this, I think he's personally irate with Freedom Industries and is going to see if he can land every one of those SOB's in Federal PMITA prison.


That's not what "piercing the corporate veil" means. You can always prosecute stockholders and executives for actual crimes. Piercing the vile just takes away the limitation of liability and lets you go after the stockholders' personal wealth for damages incurred by the corporation.
 
2014-01-17 05:42:43 PM  
They hung around long enough to siphon all the assets out of the company to a corporate shell and not a moment longer, I'm sure.

But we need less regulation, because companies like this will have to follow the invisible hand, right?
 
2014-01-17 05:42:45 PM  

NutWrench: I guess Freedom really IS just a word for "nothing left to lose."


applause
 
2014-01-17 05:43:17 PM  

Vodka Zombie: Silverstaff: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

The Federal Prosecutors are talking about "piercing the corporate veil", in other words prosecuting the actual executives personally for this instead of the company.

The US Attorney for that area lives in Charleston, and was personally affected by this, I think he's personally irate with Freedom Industries and is going to see if he can land every one of those SOB's in Federal PMITA prison.

Right up until the moment someone hands him a big, fat check, I'm sure he has every intention of prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law.


I dunno, this is the type of case that can really propel a political career. Depending on how he plays his hand, he can be tough on crime, a champion of the little guy, and still defend coal. You can't buy that kind of resume.

Don't believe me? Just as Mitt Romney.
 
2014-01-17 05:43:29 PM  

Dr Dreidel: If I found a company (ConHugeCo, LLC) in 2002 and wind it up and close up shop in 2005, my company can still be charged with crimes (assuming the statute of limitations hasn't passed) in 2006 for corporate activities between 2002-2005, correct? (If not, WTF.)

Or, since the company would have "no assets" by then, he gets to skate?


Basically the latter.

Don't confuse crimes with civil liabilities though. Corporations can't commit "crimes" under the justice system. They can be liable for civil damages. Crimes can only be committed by people.
 
2014-01-17 05:43:46 PM  
The CNN comments are actually amusing for a change. This guy. I like this guy.
i40.tinypic.com

And look! CNN has its own Fark Independents (TM).
i42.tinypic.com
 
2014-01-17 05:44:11 PM  
FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!
 
2014-01-17 05:44:22 PM  
Almost Heaven West Virgina.
 
2014-01-17 05:44:28 PM  

brap: Freedom Industries?

Holy Carp, did they get that from the Orwellian Company Name Generator?



And are they still covered by Old Glory Insurance?
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-01-17 05:44:39 PM  

DamnYankees: Nabb1: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

It's a bit early to conclude that. Chapter 11 is reorganization, not liquidation.

Still, unless I'm mistake, I think tort claims, settlements and court decisions are unsecured creditors, and lenders come first in order of payment priorities, no?


Recent changes put derivative owners first in line.
 
2014-01-17 05:45:06 PM  

DamnYankees: Don't confuse crimes with civil liabilities though. Corporations can't commit "crimes" under the justice system. They can be liable for civil damages. Crimes can only be committed by people.


Didn't the Supreme Court rule corporations were people?  We should put Freedom Industries in jail!
 
2014-01-17 05:45:39 PM  
LOL, the company can't POSSIBLY be called that, Subby, you son of a bi....

*Click*

Holy shiat.

/wonder who made this decision
//and who is being protected by making it
 
2014-01-17 05:46:01 PM  

NutWrench: I guess Freedom really IS just a word for "nothing left to lose."


static3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-01-17 05:47:03 PM  

theorellior: Silverstaff: The US Attorney for that area lives in Charleston, and was personally affected by this, I think he's personally irate with Freedom Industries and is going to see if he can land every one of those SOB's in Federal PMITA prison.

Which is basically the same reason Bernie Maddoff went to jail and Jamie Dimon is still livin' large. Madoff stole from the people who mattered, so he got the full force of the law. Dimon simply farked over millions who can't turn proper regulation into a personal vendetta.


Bernie failed to make campaign contributions to the right people.
 
2014-01-17 05:50:21 PM  

MFK: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

Can they really get off the hook this easy?


There will be a few more intermediary steps.
 
2014-01-17 05:50:37 PM  

DamnYankees: Dr Dreidel: If I found a company (ConHugeCo, LLC) in 2002 and wind it up and close up shop in 2005, my company can still be charged with crimes (assuming the statute of limitations hasn't passed) in 2006 for corporate activities between 2002-2005, correct? (If not, WTF.)

Or, since the company would have "no assets" by then, he gets to skate?

Basically the latter.

Don't confuse crimes with civil liabilities though. Corporations can't commit "crimes" under the justice system. They can be liable for civil damages. Crimes can only be committed by people.


Well, goddammit.

Can they use RICO - the corporate officers' 20+-year avoidance of inspections and failure to comply with safety regs indicates that they intended to run a criminal enterprise, therefore every dollar they've ever sucked a nugget of coke through is the State's until they prove otherwise? Is there any chance in The Hell Of The Upside-Down Sinners that WV recovers a thin dime (after the lawyers take their cut)?

// I bet they can't - RICO's only for drug dealers, don'tchaknow?
// and I think I knew that companies can only be charged civilly
 
2014-01-17 05:51:47 PM  
I was trying to remember on Jared Diamond's Collapse... wasn't there a chapter entirely about how mining companies aren't actually all that profitable due to regulations and having to pay clean up costs so basically what they do is to squeeze out as much profit as they can while ignoring regulations until they pollute the fark out of  something or a bunch of workers die in an accident and then they file for bankruptcy. And the only reason why mining states aren't more farked up to the point of having their society's collapse due to pollution is because the federal government picks up the tab for clean up.
 
2014-01-17 05:52:49 PM  

Diogenes: The chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, got into water supplies after it leaked out of a storage tank and poured into the Elk River near an intake for a West Virginia American Water Co. treatment plant.

Officials detected the 7,000-gallon leak eight days ago, on January 9. More than 7,000 gallons of the chemical, which is used to clean coal, leaked into the river, according to officials.

I don't see what the big problem is.  It's basically soap.


Megyn?
 
2014-01-17 05:53:47 PM  
The Libertarian dream.  If a company wrongs you, then file a lawsuit!  Oh, the money to make amends doesn't exist?  Uh, FREEDOM!
 
2014-01-17 05:54:55 PM  

vygramul: See? There IS a death penalty for companies! (After the execs and decision-makers have taken home their 8-figure golden parachutes.)


And then reforms under a different name.
 
2014-01-17 05:56:21 PM  
@nycsouthpaw has a pretty good rundown of this in his recent timeline.
 
2014-01-17 05:57:58 PM  
Well, I thought this was why you made corporations.
 
2014-01-17 05:59:43 PM  
Similar thing happened to my mother-in-law.  Her car got hit by a semi; put her in a wheelchair for nearly 6 years until a novel surgical technique was invented which has allowed her limited mobility.

The truck company filed for bankruptcy and didn't have to pay her a dime.

Fortunately she has medical insurance and they've covered a portion of her surgeries (she has to get a new surgery every few months); disability also pays for some of it. The rest she pays out of pocket (and fortunately, her husband makes a lot of money).
 
2014-01-17 06:01:40 PM  

Diogenes: The chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, got into water supplies after it leaked out of a storage tank and poured into the Elk River near an intake for a West Virginia American Water Co. treatment plant.

Officials detected the 7,000-gallon leak eight days ago, on January 9. More than 7,000 gallons of the chemical, which is used to clean coal, leaked into the river, according to officials.

I don't see what the big problem is.  It's basically soap.


Nope. It's an organic solvent, not an emulsifier or wetting agent. Some organic alcohols are VERY nasty beasts. Fortunately this one is relatively benign. * trivia* This chemical was originally patented for use in air fresheners.
 
2014-01-17 06:02:04 PM  

kbronsito: I was trying to remember on Jared Diamond's Collapse... wasn't there a chapter entirely about how mining companies aren't actually all that profitable due to regulations and having to pay clean up costs so basically what they do is to squeeze out as much profit as they can while ignoring regulations until they pollute the fark out of  something or a bunch of workers die in an accident and then they file for bankruptcy. And the only reason why mining states aren't more farked up to the point of having their society's collapse due to pollution is because the federal government picks up the tab for clean up.


They're called superfund sites.

And yes, lots of companies do this.
 
2014-01-17 06:03:27 PM  
Assholes.
 
2014-01-17 06:05:36 PM  

Nana's Vibrator: I would just love to see the maintenance, safety records, and bookkeeping practices they employed just prior to announcing the spill.
/no I wouldn't.  Someone just tell me they were corrupt.


They hadn't been inspected in twenty years. Draw your own conclusions.

/serious as a heart attack
 
2014-01-17 06:05:45 PM  
Booth Goodwin -US attorney for West By God-says he is going to press ahead with Federal charges against Freedom.
/I note the deafening silence from our WV Congresspeople re: this whole mess
//had no water for five days
///still won't drink the water here after this
 
2014-01-17 06:07:19 PM  

squealie: Booth Goodwin -US attorney for West By God-says he is going to press ahead with Federal charges against Freedom.


Why does he hate our Freedom?
 
2014-01-17 06:09:06 PM  
Free enterprise, man.
 
2014-01-17 06:11:04 PM  
See, the Invisible Hand has solved another problem!
 
2014-01-17 06:11:06 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: @nycsouthpaw has a pretty good rundown of this in his recent timeline.


Holy crap, you ain't kidding! That's some great reading right there.
 
2014-01-17 06:11:11 PM  

NutWrench: I guess Freedom really IS just a word for "nothing left to lose."


my job here is done
 
2014-01-17 06:12:06 PM  
48newsfrance.files.wordpress.com

...for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell the Government that they may take Freedom! But they'll never take...OUR MONEYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
 
2014-01-17 06:12:30 PM  

Snarfangel: squealie: Booth Goodwin -US attorney for West By God-says he is going to press ahead with Federal charges against Freedom.

Why does he hate our Freedom?


It isn't YOUR Freedom, its the Koch Brothers Freedom, and they give more money to Congress than you do.
 
2014-01-17 06:13:21 PM  
Aren't you supposed to wait until after a damage value is assessed before filing?
 
2014-01-17 06:13:37 PM  
How long before residents burn the place to the ground?
 
2014-01-17 06:14:19 PM  

AgentPothead: Back in the day the guy who owned that company would have gotten lynched, possibly tarred and feathered. Now he goes bankrupt and gets to go setup another company and pull this shiat some place else. This is like his third time doing that isn't it?


Please explain what "day" that happened on.
 
2014-01-17 06:23:52 PM  

DoctorCal: AgentPothead: Back in the day the guy who owned that company would have gotten lynched, possibly tarred and feathered. Now he goes bankrupt and gets to go setup another company and pull this shiat some place else. This is like his third time doing that isn't it?

Please explain what "day" that happened on.


March, 1917 - October 1917.
 
2014-01-17 06:24:01 PM  

mgshamster: kbronsito: I was trying to remember on Jared Diamond's Collapse... wasn't there a chapter entirely about how mining companies aren't actually all that profitable due to regulations and having to pay clean up costs so basically what they do is to squeeze out as much profit as they can while ignoring regulations until they pollute the fark out of  something or a bunch of workers die in an accident and then they file for bankruptcy. And the only reason why mining states aren't more farked up to the point of having their society's collapse due to pollution is because the federal government picks up the tab for clean up.

They're called superfund sites.

And yes, lots of companies do this.


I was just thinking that this really isn't an accident. It's a business model.
But a bunch of questions/assumptions that I'm trying to figure out.... this would then mean that our minerals are provided more cheaply to the businesses that buy them because we are subsidizing the clean up part of the business and they also cut corners on prevention? If we actually somehow close this loophole that created this model, would the impact of more expensive minerals to the national economy be more or less than what we spend having the Federal government clean up? In general could that difference enough to justify the environmental damage?And instead of having the Federal government come in after the damage is done... would there not be advantages to have the federal government pay for all the expenses related to preventing the damage? Although... wouldn't the purchase of any equipment for prevention be deductible business expenses already? So does it even make sense to suggest that the government should pay for those (maybe subsidize prevention further in some other way... providing capital for it perhaps)? What I guess I mean is that there's gotta be a way to provide a better incentive for the companies to actually comply with the regulations instead of having this bankruptcy mining business model sham... or maybe we need to pay more for our minerals. Is this still making sense. I'm trying to solve this whole mining problem here on fark... where complex political and sociological problems are constantly solved.
 
2014-01-17 06:25:05 PM  

MadCat221: Diogenes: The chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, got into water supplies after it leaked out of a storage tank and poured into the Elk River near an intake for a West Virginia American Water Co. treatment plant.

Officials detected the 7,000-gallon leak eight days ago, on January 9. More than 7,000 gallons of the chemical, which is used to clean coal, leaked into the river, according to officials.

I don't see what the big problem is.  It's basically soap.

Then go ahead and drink a glass of it.


What a great deal. The glass of water that satisfies thirst AND cleans itself!
 
2014-01-17 06:26:39 PM  
Privatize profits and shunt losses and liabilities over to the average taxpayer.

Its the American Way!
 
2014-01-17 06:26:53 PM  

Summoner101: Vodka Zombie: Silverstaff: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

The Federal Prosecutors are talking about "piercing the corporate veil", in other words prosecuting the actual executives personally for this instead of the company.

The US Attorney for that area lives in Charleston, and was personally affected by this, I think he's personally irate with Freedom Industries and is going to see if he can land every one of those SOB's in Federal PMITA prison.

Right up until the moment someone hands him a big, fat check, I'm sure he has every intention of prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law.

I dunno, this is the type of case that can really propel a political career. Depending on how he plays his hand, he can be tough on crime, a champion of the little guy, and still defend coal. You can't buy that kind of resume.

Don't believe me? Just as Mitt Romney.


Then I guess solving the problems of big companies causing problems to the rest of society is just as easy as making sure a federal prosecutor is personally affected. Like make them work at McDonalds for minimum wage for a while so they require a social safety net subsidy, or make sure that they all have incomes tied to the LIBOR rate or something...
 
2014-01-17 06:27:45 PM  
Just wait until you find out what Majestic Soaring Bald Eagle of Liberty Industries has been up to.
 
2014-01-17 06:28:59 PM  
Obvious preventive to move to try to avoid losses from impending lawsuits, I seriously hope the judge tell them no.
 
2014-01-17 06:29:14 PM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: And look! CNN has its own Fark Independents (TM).

img.fark.net

I'm not sure how brining the society together will help.

/seems like it will just make it more salty.
 
2014-01-17 06:36:46 PM  

kbronsito: mgshamster: kbronsito: I was trying to remember on Jared Diamond's Collapse... wasn't there a chapter entirely about how mining companies aren't actually all that profitable due to regulations and having to pay clean up costs so basically what they do is to squeeze out as much profit as they can while ignoring regulations until they pollute the fark out of  something or a bunch of workers die in an accident and then they file for bankruptcy. And the only reason why mining states aren't more farked up to the point of having their society's collapse due to pollution is because the federal government picks up the tab for clean up.

They're called superfund sites.

And yes, lots of companies do this.

I was just thinking that this really isn't an accident. It's a business model.
But a bunch of questions/assumptions that I'm trying to figure out.... this would then mean that our minerals are provided more cheaply to the businesses that buy them because we are subsidizing the clean up part of the business and they also cut corners on prevention? If we actually somehow close this loophole that created this model, would the impact of more expensive minerals to the national economy be more or less than what we spend having the Federal government clean up? In general could that difference enough to justify the environmental damage?And instead of having the Federal government come in after the damage is done... would there not be advantages to have the federal government pay for all the expenses related to preventing the damage? Although... wouldn't the purchase of any equipment for prevention be deductible business expenses already? So does it even make sense to suggest that the government should pay for those (maybe subsidize prevention further in some other way... providing capital for it perhaps)? What I guess I mean is that there's gotta be a way to provide a better incentive for the companies to actually comply with the regulations instead of having this bankruptcy minin ...


It's not just a mining thing.  There's lots of examples of companies bailing out once they've polluted an area.  Heck, just look at almost any superfund sites, and there's over 1200 of them.  And superfund sites are just the big ones.  Granted, not every one of those are due to knowingly bad business practices. Some of them were made back when we didn't know any better.  The Love Canal is a classic example of a business who just did the standard practice of burying their toxic waste, and then sold off the land thinking it was taken care of and wouldn't be a problem.  That was back before we had all the toxicological research showing that it was bad; back before the EPA.
 
2014-01-17 06:46:30 PM  

vygramul: See? There IS a death penalty for companies! (After the execs and decision-makers have taken home their 8-figure golden parachutes.)


Well, yeah. He'll make more money going bankrupt than staying open and getting the fark sued out of him. If the company doesn't exist, they can't pay out see. So if he puts all the money in his pocket and starts a new companny with the same assests doing the same thing, he's a reall 'Murican hero.3

I hope the judge sees through this assholes game and tells him to sit the fark down and take it up the ass like he needs to.
 
2014-01-17 06:48:00 PM  

TwoHead: Could I kill someone one day, declare moral bankruptcy the next day and walk away from the whole thing? If corporations are going to be people I want to be a corporation.


i2.cdn.turner.com
 
2014-01-17 06:54:59 PM  

DamnYankees: Dr Dreidel: If I found a company (ConHugeCo, LLC) in 2002 and wind it up and close up shop in 2005, my company can still be charged with crimes (assuming the statute of limitations hasn't passed) in 2006 for corporate activities between 2002-2005, correct? (If not, WTF.)

Or, since the company would have "no assets" by then, he gets to skate?

Basically the latter.

Don't confuse crimes with civil liabilities though. Corporations can't commit "crimes" under the justice system. They can be liable for civil damages. Crimes can only be committed by people.



"Corporations are people my friend."
 
2014-01-17 06:56:23 PM  

We dun goofed! Quick! Hide the money!

 
2014-01-17 06:56:57 PM  
A little freedom juice in the water can't hurt you if you ask jesus to protect you.
 
2014-01-17 06:58:20 PM  

d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.


Y'all ought to be ashamed of themselves.  They wouldn't have had to be so damned shoddy if it wasn't for the Obummer's gummint and their damn regulations and healthcare taxing them to death.  And dragging them through the mud like this?  Y'all commies hate job creators, don't you?

/I need a shower after that
 
2014-01-17 06:59:37 PM  
So if you think you can get out from under your crushing student loan debt by declaring bankruptcy, forget about it.  But avoid responsibility for contaminating the drinking water for over 300,000 people for a week or more by declaring bankruptcy, absolutely.
 
2014-01-17 07:01:38 PM  

cretinbob: vygramul: See? There IS a death penalty for companies! (After the execs and decision-makers have taken home their 8-figure golden parachutes.)

Well, yeah. He'll make more money going bankrupt than staying open and getting the fark sued out of him. If the company doesn't exist, they can't pay out see. So if he puts all the money in his pocket and starts a new companny with the same assests doing the same thing, he's a reall 'Murican hero.3

I hope the judge sees through this assholes game and tells him to sit the fark down and take it up the ass like he needs to.


We should require that all corporations carry liability insurance that will pay for environmental cleanups and any civil or criminal penalties in the event of bankruptcy.  It might help reduce the instances of this sort of thing happening if corps had insurance companies looking over their shoulder and raising their premiums whenever they saw lax maintenance standards.  And the execs might find moving on to that new company more difficult when the new one becomes basically uninsurable for any reasonable amount of money.
 
2014-01-17 07:04:45 PM  

TwoHead: Could I kill someone one day, declare moral bankruptcy the next day and walk away from the whole thing? If corporations are going to be people I want to be a corporation.


That would be a fun experiment really. Declare yourself a corporation, abuse molest and assault people at random. And finally declare bankruptcy and blame it on employees.

what would happen?
 
2014-01-17 07:15:56 PM  
Freedom Industries chooses to file bankruptcy after leaking chemicals into the water supply... or as the industry calls it, Tuesday.

It's not like this sort of thing has never happened before. Hell, ten miles from the Freedom industries used to be the main office of Union Carbide. One  Bhopal disaster later and now it's owned by Dow Chemical.
 
2014-01-17 07:25:31 PM  
Very interesting...someone I know works for a company that ceased business with Freedom Industries two months ago. They said it was due to a difference in how they do business. Perhaps they found out about their reporting practices.
 
2014-01-17 07:33:30 PM  

Silverstaff: The US Attorney for that area lives in Charleston, and was personally affected by this, I think he's personally irate with Freedom Industries and is going to see if he can land every one of those SOB's in Federal PMITA prison.


He'd better hope he lands in Federal prison. I get the impression WV state prison would be a whole lot more, um, personal.
 
2014-01-17 07:38:39 PM  

DamnYankees: Dr Dreidel: If I found a company (ConHugeCo, LLC) in 2002 and wind it up and close up shop in 2005, my company can still be charged with crimes (assuming the statute of limitations hasn't passed) in 2006 for corporate activities between 2002-2005, correct? (If not, WTF.)

Or, since the company would have "no assets" by then, he gets to skate?

Basically the latter.

Don't confuse crimes with civil liabilities though. Corporations can't commit "crimes" under the justice system. They can be liable for civil damages. Crimes can only be committed by people.


Corporations ARE people, no?
 
2014-01-17 08:11:52 PM  

MadCat221: In a previous thread, someone mentioned that they were a subsidiary ultimately of the Koch Brothers.  I wouldn't be surprised if they were, but is there proof?  Others in that thread were skeptical too.  Was any proof provided that they're at the far end of the line?


I don't know if the Koch-suckers own Freedom Industries, but Freedom does buy from and store chemicals for Koch's Georgia Pacific paper goods division. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/new-owner-of-freedom-i n dustries-must-face-fallout-of-west-virginia-chemical-spill/2014/01/17/ 77b1a572-7df2-11e3-93c1-0e888170b723_story.html
 
2014-01-17 08:41:56 PM  
The owner just formed a new company to buy the assets of his old bankrupt company.

But not the liabilities.
 
2014-01-17 08:50:14 PM  

dionysusaur: Silverstaff: The US Attorney for that area lives in Charleston, and was personally affected by this, I think he's personally irate with Freedom Industries and is going to see if he can land every one of those SOB's in Federal PMITA prison.

He'd better hope he lands in Federal prison. I get the impression WV state prison would be a whole lot more, um, personal.


Prison isn't needed.

IMHO, The only effective way to punish sociopathic rich people who pull crap like this is to take away ALL of their wealth. Garnish whatever wages they (may) make so that they have to make do on no more than $18,000/year....for life.

/ can't see most of them dealing well with something like that....bet some of them will kill themselves rather than be lower-class...
 
2014-01-17 08:54:36 PM  

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: The owner just formed a new company to buy the assets of his old bankrupt company.

But not the liabilities.


The term 'cluster-fark' would need massive doses of steroids to be able to describe that situation.
 
2014-01-17 08:59:51 PM  

Nabb1: DamnYankees: Nabb1: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

It's a bit early to conclude that. Chapter 11 is reorganization, not liquidation.

Still, unless I'm mistake, I think tort claims, settlements and court decisions are unsecured creditors, and lenders come first in order of payment priorities, no?

I think you are right, but I don't know if judgment debtors can be discharged, either, so they could still be on the hook. Bankruptcy is not my bag, though. Also, from what I've read, the guy that runs this operation is pretty shady. If he broke any laws, he can't hide behind the corporation.


Sure he can. That's the point of having a corporation
 
2014-01-17 09:01:07 PM  

mgshamster: They're called superfund sites.
And yes, lots of companies do this.


My whole town is a Superfund site. Right now they're reclaiming the entire hill behind my house and putting in trails and trees and recontouring the land and it's going to be really nice when they finish. They've been doing this for years, after someone finally had to foot the bill for reclaiming all the old mines around here. It went through a couple bankruptcies, and the feds sued everybody, then someone wanted to open the big mine again and they had to do the reclamation work. We're going to have trails and landscaping and touristy shiat all over (because what else--tourism). Which is nice, since it looked like a--well, a Superfund site before. And it's been like that for almost 100 years.

Don't think there's much they can do about the Berkeley Pit though. It has to be a tourist attraction all by itself. "Honey, have you ever seen so much concentrated pollution in one place? It's just breath-taking!"

Mike_1962: Nope. It's an organic solvent, not an emulsifier or wetting agent. Some organic alcohols are VERY nasty beasts. Fortunately this one is relatively benign. * trivia* This chemical was originally patented for use in air fresheners.


That doesn't reassure me. I'm convinced those things will give you lung cancer.
 
2014-01-17 09:04:59 PM  

Dr Dreidel: DamnYankees: Nabb1: d23: You do realize this means there will now be absolutely no one at all that suffers any penalty... except the people of WV, of course.

It's a bit early to conclude that. Chapter 11 is reorganization, not liquidation.

Still, unless I'm mistake, I think tort claims, settlements and court decisions are unsecured creditors, and lenders come first in order of payment priorities, no?

But there hasn't even been a criminal or civil trial yet! How can they discharge a finding of liability if it hasn't been found yet?

If I found a company (ConHugeCo, LLC) in 2002 and wind it up and close up shop in 2005, my company can still be charged with crimes (assuming the statute of limitations hasn't passed) in 2006 for corporate activities between 2002-2005, correct? (If not, WTF.)

Or, since the company would have "no assets" by then, he gets to skate?

// hiding get-rich-quick malfeasance behind a corporate charter, and no punishment/penalty for the Top Guy - ain't that America?


Sure your company that is now nothing more than a piece of paper can be charged but what is the point. Your second company that you opened right after the first one shut down and bought all the first companies assets at an absurdly cheap price has nothing to do with that incident and cannot be touched
 
2014-01-17 09:38:21 PM  

runwiz: So if you think you can get out from under your crushing student loan debt by declaring bankruptcy, forget about it.  But avoid responsibility for contaminating the drinking water for over 300,000 people for a week or more by declaring bankruptcy, absolutely.


The problem arises that it's hard to figure out who exactly is responsible.
 
2014-01-17 09:39:58 PM  
cryinoutloud:

Don't think there's much they can do about the Berkeley Pit though. It has to be a tourist attraction all by itself. "Honey, have you ever seen so much concentrated pollution in one place? It's just breath-taking!"

One of the forums I frequent has a filter that turns "fark" into "berkeley".  Many of us end up actually saying "berkeley!" when doing things like, for instance, missing a nail and hitting your thumb with the hammer instead.

"Berkeley Pit" works for that.

/the speech from Team America is hilarious there
 
2014-01-17 10:02:56 PM  
Words cannot describe what it's like here right now. And yes, very bit of the news is exactly as bad as it sounds.

I work at the state Capitol in charleston, and though that part of town was the first to be declared safe, this morning hundreds of gallons of wate were delivered to the Capitol to be distributed to staff.

When you go to the water company's webpage they have a map of the effected counties colored red, for unsafe, and blue, for safe. On the map legend, there's a blue box and the words "water is safe"....with an asterisk next to it. Water safety should not come with an asterisk.

So much about this is so farked up its unreal
 
2014-01-17 10:09:23 PM  

Hollie Maea: you are a puppet: "Freedom Industries"? Oh come on

Why are you against Coal, "America's Fuel" (TM)?


There is actually some truth to this. The United States is very coal-rich. We are the Saudi Arabia of coal. Our coal reserves could meet our energy needs for centuries, if--and this is a big if--we could extract that energy in an environmentally responsible manner without hurting people in the process.
 
2014-01-17 10:11:16 PM  

Philip J. Fry: The Libertarian dream.  If a company wrongs you, then file a lawsuit!  Oh, the money to make amends doesn't exist?  Uh, FREEDOM!


The usual libertarian argument in this situation is Life Isn't Fair.
 
2014-01-17 10:12:43 PM  
Why don't they just drink the water?  If they get ill they can sue latter.
 
2014-01-17 10:46:53 PM  

revrendjim: There is actually some truth to this. The United States is very coal-rich. We are the Saudi Arabia of coal. Our coal reserves could meet our energy needs for centuries, if--and this is a big if--we could extract that energy in an environmentally responsible manner without hurting people in the process.


Well, you know, if it did kill lots of people, that would reduce our energy needs, too. Win-win!
 
2014-01-17 10:57:17 PM  

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: The owner just formed a new company to buy the assets of his old bankrupt company.

But not the liabilities.


This guy needs to hang from the town square.
 
2014-01-17 11:01:48 PM  

revrendjim: Our coal reserves could meet our energy needs for centuries, if--and this is a big if--we could extract that energy in an environmentally responsible manner without hurting people in the process.


We could do that.  But it would be far more expensive than a host of much better options.  Coal is only cheap when you externalize the pollution and environmental disasters.
 
2014-01-17 11:03:44 PM  
It's almost like that railway company that incinerated 57 Quebeckers, went bankrupt and then the CEO told the media he was really suffering because of it.
 
2014-01-17 11:27:11 PM  
I'm going to incorporate myself as "I Love America More than You Do Industries, Inc."
 
2014-01-17 11:31:23 PM  

propasaurus: I'm going to incorporate myself as "I Love America More than You Do Industries, Inc."


I'm going to be YOU'RE A Towel, LLC.
 
2014-01-17 11:56:19 PM  

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: The owner just formed a new company to buy the assets of his old bankrupt company.

But not the liabilities.


That should be illegal. =/
 
2014-01-18 12:00:26 AM  

mschwenk: runwiz: So if you think you can get out from under your crushing student loan debt by declaring bankruptcy, forget about it.  But avoid responsibility for contaminating the drinking water for over 300,000 people for a week or more by declaring bankruptcy, absolutely.

The problem arises that it's hard to figure out who exactly is responsible.


The owners of the company take home the rewards they should have to face the risks. There I just solved the problem of determining fault
 
2014-01-18 12:01:08 AM  

MechaPyx: Nina_Hartley's_Ass: The owner just formed a new company to buy the assets of his old bankrupt company.

But not the liabilities.

That should be illegal. =/


I mean really....If you fark up like this there damn well ought to be consequences. I don't even live there and I'm sorely tempted to add some lead to this guy's diet.
 
2014-01-18 12:01:22 AM  

DoctorCal: AgentPothead: Back in the day the guy who owned that company would have gotten lynched, possibly tarred and feathered. Now he goes bankrupt and gets to go setup another company and pull this shiat some place else. This is like his third time doing that isn't it?

Please explain what "day" that happened on.


July 14, 1789
 
2014-01-18 12:46:25 AM  
If you can't trust the job-creators of Massey Energy, who the Hell can you trust?

After all they gleefully donated nearly $6,000 of their hard-won butter-and-egg money for fines in humble sacrifice for their colossal carelessness.
 
2014-01-18 12:50:09 AM  

Mister Peejay: propasaurus: I'm going to incorporate myself as "I Love America More than You Do Industries, Inc."
I'm going to be YOU'RE A Towel, LLC.


I'm going to be What Jesus Would Do Industries, America, Inc.
 
2014-01-18 12:58:33 AM  
I am seeing stories about .057 ppm being the new standard, although I haven't found a scientifically verifiable source link yet. I took a shower with no immediate adverse effects yesterday after flushing my lines and the water heater, but will continue using bottled water for all my kids' needs. You can wash yourself or your kid with bottled water and give them drinks pretty easily... but clothes and dish washing is a huge pain in the ass.
 
2014-01-18 02:29:54 AM  
He should hang from the town square, in pieces.
 
2014-01-18 02:33:37 AM  

MechaPyx: Nina_Hartley's_Ass: The owner just formed a new company to buy the assets of his old bankrupt company.

But not the liabilities.

That should be illegal. =/


It's probably more of an effort to re-brand or something than to get out of liabilities. The old company can stil be sued and would probably end up in a trust for the plaintifs. At that point the old company can sue the new company for the damages.

/seen it happen
 
2014-01-18 05:14:13 AM  
seriously? this rich asshat should not be allowed to do this.

We need a federal law on the books that if a company declares bankruptcy that none of the owners of said company can buy the assets  of the bankrupt company with out also buying the liablities.
 
2014-01-18 05:59:18 AM  

Mister Peejay: cryinoutloud:

Don't think there's much they can do about the Berkeley Pit though. It has to be a tourist attraction all by itself. "Honey, have you ever seen so much concentrated pollution in one place? It's just breath-taking!"

One of the forums I frequent has a filter that turns "fark" into "berkeley".  Many of us end up actually saying "berkeley!" when doing things like, for instance, missing a nail and hitting your thumb with the hammer instead.

"Berkeley Pit" works for that.

/the speech from Team America is hilarious there


I'm on that berkelying forum too!

/We had a preponderance of canoes lately...
 
2014-01-18 06:31:18 AM  
On the bright side, the birth defects from pregnant women drinking the water will probably be less severe than those caused by generational inbreeding.

West Virginia - 1.6 million people and six last names. Where there is no lifeguard for the gene pool
 
2014-01-18 07:44:30 AM  

discgolfguru: I am seeing stories about .057 ppm being the new standard, although I haven't found a scientifically verifiable source link yet. I took a shower with no immediate adverse effects yesterday after flushing my lines and the water heater, but will continue using bottled water for all my kids' needs. You can wash yourself or your kid with bottled water and give them drinks pretty easily... but clothes and dish washing is a huge pain in the ass.


I think I'd do the paper plates and plastic fork routine for awhile.  The clothes must be a pain though; can't run around in t-shirts in winter, even down there, I'd imagine.
 
2014-01-18 09:09:49 AM  

Philip J. Fry: If a company wrongs you, then file a lawsuit!  Oh, the money to make amends doesn't exist?  Uh, FREEDOM!


I know, so different from dealing with individuals who wrong you.
 
2014-01-18 10:41:19 AM  
blog.cleanenergy.org

How's that "Clean Coal" working out for ya??

Woops.

Looks like those solar panels and windmills aren't so scary after all
 
2014-01-18 10:43:13 AM  

Four Horsemen of the Domestic Dispute: [blog.cleanenergy.org image 670x450]

How's that "Clean Coal" working out for ya??

Woops.

Looks like those solar panels and windmills aren't so scary after all


www.newscientist.com
 
2014-01-18 10:49:00 AM  

Snarfangel: Four Horsemen of the Domestic Dispute: [blog.cleanenergy.org image 670x450]

How's that "Clean Coal" working out for ya??

Woops.

Looks like those solar panels and windmills aren't so scary after all

[www.newscientist.com image 600x460]


Mmeehhh, nuke meltdown is a whole lot more dramatic.
This is a dead horsie
 
2014-01-18 11:01:21 AM  

Snarfangel: Four Horsemen of the Domestic Dispute: [blog.cleanenergy.org image 670x450]

How's that "Clean Coal" working out for ya??

Woops.

Looks like those solar panels and windmills aren't so scary after all

[www.newscientist.com image 600x460]


Except for that one.  Heh.  Funny.  Good One
 
2014-01-18 11:27:02 AM  

Four Horsemen of the Domestic Dispute: Except for that one.


is that the one that flambéed the 2 mechanics? (or did they leap? didn't read that farking article)
 
2014-01-18 02:45:31 PM  

Snarfangel: Four Horsemen of the Domestic Dispute: [blog.cleanenergy.org image 670x450]

How's that "Clean Coal" working out for ya??

Woops.

Looks like those solar panels and windmills aren't so scary after all

[www.newscientist.com image 600x460]


Not pictured:  A large portion of a state being farked, possibly permanently,
 
2014-01-18 08:11:20 PM  

Mister Peejay: Snarfangel: Four Horsemen of the Domestic Dispute: [blog.cleanenergy.org image 670x450]

How's that "Clean Coal" working out for ya??

Woops.

Looks like those solar panels and windmills aren't so scary after all

[www.newscientist.com image 600x460]

Not pictured:  A large portion of a state being farked, possibly permanently,


Like , Dude,  You talking North Dakota.
 
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