Monday, January 13, 2014

West Virginia to nation: environmental regulation is the enemy and time is our friend -- just drink water from our plastic bottles and you will be safe until this crisis blows over … by gimleteye

The vaunted capacity of enlightened corporations to do better than government to protect the public interest just cracked a big leak in West Virginia.

The most curious omission in media coverage of the West Virginia pollution disaster -- the city of Charleston has been brought to a halt -- is the absence of discussion how politics in West Virginia harbors antipathy to the very environmental regulations that ought to protect the state's drinking water.

Here is a glaring example how the Tea Party/ radical right's agenda -- adopted in coal country by Democrats -- breaks down. It is almost as though the media -- that knows no boundaries when it comes to matching mayhem to the appetite of its audiences -- has found something in the underbrush of the West Virginia tragedy that is too horrible: the indelicate matter of voters supporting choices that undermine their own existence.

It is curious that at the very same time, the media has macerated a similar totemic event in New Jersey, where the George Washington Bridge monster traffic jam ties back to political ambition gone haywire. Arguably the Elk River in West Virginia represents the same theme of politics making mince-meat of citizen safety with a significantly more dire outcome than waiting in lines of traffic. Yet the media holds its nose.

Although both US Senators from West Virginia are Democrats, they are a leaden part of the Democratic majority in the Senate that exposes the American public to the worst of right-wing extremism against environmental regulation.

West Virginia is a poor state. Poverty indexes put the state near the very bottom. So when a story like the Elk River, that bears an eery familiarity to the burning rivers of the industrial midwest that spurred in the 1970's the first federal environmental laws, emerges: one struggles for interpretation more clear than a poor state subject to most unfortunate, unavoidable calamity.

Not a word over there at Fox News how environmental rules might have reached to protect Charleston's drinking water from the owners of the coal-industry company. The Politburo in the Soviet Union had the Soviet era organ called Pravda to selectively inform Russians. That pretty much defines what Fox News is, when it comes to rules protecting the environment. Where is the indignation? Where is the outcry?

Although federal regulatory authority -- through the bogeyman of the right-wing, the US EPA -- is not implicated in the Elk River disaster, the shadow cast over a city incapable of delivering clean water to citizens invites full disclosure.

According to news reports, even though the tanks were decades beyond their useful life, the catastrophic pollution event awaits dilution and time. Thus it is always with pollution in the United States.

The name of the company responsible for the catastrophe in West Virginia: Freedom Industries.


Anonymous said...

People get what they deserve. If you keep voting against yourself, sooner or later, you will get what you voted for.

On another note, we have to be thankful for many things. The sun to bring us light and to sustain us, clean water, food, shelter, provisions, good health, an ability to think, and to live in America.

Antal Kardos said...

Having being born and raised in WV I can tell you that the key point you made was how poor the state is. A lot of people are just looking for quick money, hence why fracking has taken hold so well. My hometown of Wheeling has seen rents go from the hundreds per month to thousands because of all the temporary gas workers. But it's all short-term gain, and that's my frustration. They just don't see it. Though you could say that some of the blame is on me (and my peers). As soon as I graduated with high school I was gone. I moved to Miami and went to UM for school. I took my brain and conscious and left my home state in the dust because, ultimately, I guess I wanted the same thing they want: more more more! I've learned my lesson now.