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Company Responsible for Major Chemical Spill Is a Great Candidate for the Corporate Death Penalty

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Source: Alternet

Freedom Industries should face some serious accountability 

Time For A Corporate Death Penalty
(image by Black Agenda Report)

It's time to kill some companies.

When businesses operate in ways that are clearly detrimental to the public interest -- they should be dissolved and their assets should be distributed to the people they hurt

This will create a marketplace opportunity for a company that behaves in a more reputable fashion.

Take what's going in West Virginia right now for example.

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Around 300,000 people in nine counties across West Virginia still don't have access to clean water today as state and federal officials continue to try and clean up a massive leak of toxic chemicals.

State officials started restricting water use on Thursday after it was discovered that almost 7,500 gallons of MCHM, a chemical used to clean coal, had seeped out of a storage facility owned by company called Freedom Industries into the Elk River, a major local source of drinking water.

The short-term effects of contact with MCHM include itchiness, burning of the eyes, diarrhea, and, in some cases, vomiting. The long-term effects are still pretty much a mystery.

West Virginia's governor, Earl Ray Tomblin, has declared some areas safe for drinking, but West Virginia isn't home free just yet.

There's still a long ways to go before the spill is cleaned up.

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In order for the state to declare water supplies safe, samples have to show that MCHM contamination is at or less than 1 parts per million.

And as of yet, the state has provided no specific timetable for when areas affected by the spill will be cleared for everyday water use.

Meanwhile, West Virginian public officials have some explaining to do.

The plant where the leak started has not been inspected by any kind of state or federal agency in more than two decades.

In a state like West Virginia, this kind of hands-off approach to regulation is, sadly, kind of expected.

The coal industry is a huge part of the local economy and holds a stranglehold over local politics.

In an environment like this, companies like Freedom Industries feel like they can act without any regard for public safety or the environment.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)

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Retroactively change all corporate charters so the... by Robert Spies on Friday, Jan 17, 2014 at 11:48:55 PM
THOM, you are correct, but the problem remains onc... by Dennis Kaiser on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 7:25:10 AM
What about mandatory sentencing for the CEO of a ... by Paul Cohen on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 9:22:27 AM
That would be much better than what we have now. R... by Dennis Kaiser on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 11:31:52 AM
Paul, I agree, but with the addition that all... by acomfort acomfort on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 3:01:51 PM
In the fictional corporate incarceration that I ex... by Philip Zack on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 10:28:21 PM
I think corporate death sentences is a great idea... by Derryl Hermanutz on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 4:02:09 PM
We need a "3 strikes you're in prison for 25 year... by Bob Davey on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 7:53:13 PM
And, Mr. Hartmann, it is time to hold the elected ... by sand fessler on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 2:26:47 PM
"It's high time we brought back the corporate dea... by George Flower on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 2:27:39 PM
Then an amendment to whatever "Companies Act" leg... by Derryl Hermanutz on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 4:23:47 PM
Great idea.  See that and raise you one. &nb... by George Flower on Saturday, Jan 25, 2014 at 8:19:48 PM
Love the graphic. ... by Amanda Lang on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 2:51:56 PM
When and if they ever do bring back the corporate ... by Dennie Williams on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 3:55:28 PM
If corporations are people, can't they just be ex... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 4:53:14 PM
Eco-terrorism. West Virginia knows it well. ... by Bob Davey on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 7:42:30 PM
It's CEO is definitely a good candidate for the th... by Archie on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 7:48:02 PM
Corporate execution is one way to restrain their b... by Philip Zack on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 8:08:02 PM
Executing a corporation only hurts the shareholde... by Rudy Avizius on Sunday, Jan 19, 2014 at 10:11:03 AM
Forming a corporation protects the owners (shareh... by Paul Cohen on Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014 at 9:25:58 AM
I have been joking about Freedom Industries. Giv... by Julian Lobato on Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 5:35:57 PM