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Pollution is a violent crime — prosecute it as such

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posted on May, 17 2014 @ 02:08 AM
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wagingnonviolence.org...

This is the most disgusting thing I've ever heard:


A shameful court decision in Texas shows why we need to see pollution for what it is: violence, usually against poor and vulnerable people.

The situation is Erin Brockovich stuff. A Citgo refinery bordering Corpus Christi’s poor, largely minority Hillcrest neighborhood was illegally allowing benzene and other pollutants to escape its tanks. A jury found it guilty, not just civilly, but criminally. This unusually severe judgment was the first criminal conviction of a refinery operation under the Clean Air Act. With the support of the Justice Department, the victims sought what victims of ordinary crime expect when possible: restitution from the wrongdoer to make them whole.

U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey decided Wednesday that victims of Citgo’s criminal—literally criminal—pollution will receive no restitution. Citgo won’t have to pay any of the $55 million that the Justice Department had requested.



About this judge:

From: judgepedia.org...


Rainey also served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1970.[1]


Interesting - 1 year - ???? - bet that's a story in itself and probably disqualified him from running for public office.

But wait - he's a good corporate soldier:


Rainey was a private practice attorney in the State of Texas from 1973 to 1986. Rainey served as the Director of the Angleton, Texas Chamber of Commerce from 1983 to 1987


And then :


On the recommendation of Texas U.S. Senator Phil Gramm, Rainey was nominated to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas by President George H.W. Bush on January 24, 1990


And still serving his corporate masters to this day.

Ain't life grand in the lone star state.




posted on May, 17 2014 @ 02:52 AM
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Wow.


In 2007, a jury convicted Citgo of violating the Clean Air Act, a first for a major oil company. The company had illegally stored oil in two uncovered tanks, exposing nearby residents to toxic chemicals including the carcinogen benzene. It took seven years for U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey to sentence the company, finally ruling in February that Citgo owed $2 million—a paltry sum next to the $1 billion prosecutors argued the company had earned from its illegal operation. Still, victims held out hope for some restitution.

On Wednesday, Rainey denied victims any restitution, including funding to pay for annual cancer screenings and other diseases that could be linked to chemical exposures. The Justice Department had requested that Citgo set up a fund to cover relocation costs, and another for victims’ future medical expenses, plus attorney’s fees and administrative costs for a total of $55 million in restitution.

Ironically, Rainey wrote that determining how much victims are really owed would “unduly delay the sentencing process” and “outweighs the need to provide restitution to any victims.”


source

So basically it took seven years for him to sentence Citgo to pay a fine that equals .02% of what they made from the operation and now there's no time to calculate the restitution they should pay their victims? This is disgraceful.
edit on 2014-5-17 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 03:03 AM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

What the hell is the point of having law, if it does not produce justice? Why have rules about who can, and cannot hold public office, if by nefarious means, one might wander around those limitations as if they were not there?

The reality here, is that there must ALWAYS be time to offer victims of a serious crime restitution. There is nothing but time for us humans, time and decay. It is on the justice system to expedite matters in such a way as to offer people who have had their time unnaturally shortened by these chemicals, some sort of compensation. The idea that there is no time in which to do that, is fundamentally idiotic. In short, the amount of time it would take to make this right, or at least make it less wrong, is the exact amount of time that it MUST take, and it MUST be done, and the truth is that this stuff shirt knows it.



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 05:14 AM
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This would set precedent and would eventually end up costing corporations a lot of money.....
Id bet dollars to doughnuts that the good judge can retire in luxury when he desires.....
Meanwhile....the people still deserve the compensation,(and probably need it)
Perhaps they can appeal the ruling and wait another seven years....



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 06:13 AM
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If you want all the conveniences and "creature comforts" of industrial civilization, you're going to have pollution. The larger the civilization, the grander the scale of pollution.

That's just how it works. And inevitably there are "accidents". S happens. Play with fire, you get burned.

If you want pollution prosecuted as a violent crime... do we all get lighter sentences for owning up to the role we've played? We're the ones buying all the end products of the processes causing the pollution in the first place.

Anyone got a mirror?



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 06:31 AM
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a reply to: NthOther

Um... Excuse me, but if a small company was caught pouring arsenic down a drain cover, belching out benzene gas in great profusion, or causing significant environmental damage, they would get clobbered over the head with the statute book, followed by having their pockets totally emptied, not to mention serving some sort of sentence.

The rules are supposed to apply equally to all people and companies. This is nothing to do with whether or not you accept the premise that environmental damage is an unavoidable part of industry, but ONLY to do with the law being correctly applied to all parties equally, which clearly has not happened.



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 07:00 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit

The rules are supposed to apply equally to all people and companies. This is nothing to do with whether or not you accept the premise that environmental damage is an unavoidable part of industry, but ONLY to do with the law being correctly applied to all parties equally, which clearly has not happened.

It has everything to do with it. Environmental business law exists only to alleviate our own polluted consciences.

You don't think it's relevant to point out that Citgo wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the billions of people buying their products (and, for the most part, loving every minute of it)?

It's like a fat guy suing McDonald's after having a heart attack. Assume no personal responsibility at all, and instead shift it to something external so your ego doesn't have to deal with the fact that it's no one's fault but yours (ours).

Again, if you want the law applied fairly and without prejudice to both people and corporations...

...I think we're gonna have to go downtown and answer a few questions.



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 07:29 AM
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originally posted by: NthOther
You don't think it's relevant to point out that Citgo wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the billions of people buying their products (and, for the most part, loving every minute of it)?

But those people buy those products believing that the company is producing them safely!
I wonder how many people would have bought their products if they knew the company was poisoning people!?



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 03:05 PM
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originally posted by: NthOther
If you want all the conveniences and "creature comforts" of industrial civilization, you're going to have pollution. The larger the civilization, the grander the scale of pollution.

That's just how it works. And inevitably there are "accidents". S happens. Play with fire, you get burned.

If you want pollution prosecuted as a violent crime... do we all get lighter sentences for owning up to the role we've played? We're the ones buying all the end products of the processes causing the pollution in the first place.

Anyone got a mirror?


In theory I agree with you - however, the fact that we are all responsible does not acquit a Corporation of it's responsiblity.

And arguing that it does is disingenuous. Personal responsibilty and corporate responsibilty are not equivalent in any way, shape or form.

As TrueBrit has noted, were this a small or medium sized business they would have been pilloried and likely bankrupthed. Hence, a bigger coporation benefit by scooping up the assests of said company for pennies on the dollar.





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