Here’s news sure to shock everyone: The Koch Brothers are paying exorbitant amounts of money to pollute our water supply. Environment Florida reports that a Koch Industry subsidy, Buckeye Florida LP, spent $14 million in lobbying — in a single year — after the company was caught dumping over 200,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into Florida’s water back in 2012.
This right here is a picture of everything that’s wrong with regulations right now. That it’s cheaper for them, even after fines, to dump $14 million into lobbying than to fix the problem and make sure chemicals are handled properly highlights that something is wrong and draconian steps have to be taken to fix it.
Personally, I’d love to see fines for illegal dumping start at $500 million, and head off into the multibillion dollar range, with an additional flat $300 million for every month that the mess persists. And they would prorate it, so if illegal dumping is found months after the fact, the company is charged for those months. Then, they can pay for the paperwork and processing for the fines, while the CEOs and the entire board are hauled off to jail for reckless endangerment, attempted manslaughter, and whatever else a normal person would get saddled with if they dumped toxic chemicals into the water supply.
If the fine isn’t at least half the company’s assets, something is wrong.
Of course, that’s an ideal world. This is far from an ideal world; rather than paying fines for illegal dumping, they’re pumping that money into politics so they can poison your drinking water with even fewer consequences the second time.
Remember, they want “small government” — government so small it can’t pull you out when you drown in the toxic sludge that used to fresh water.