CORPORATIONS FIGHT TOUGHER SMOG RULES IN SPITE OF WHAT IT WILL MEAN TO THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM CONDITIONS EITHER CAUSED BY OR GREATLY AGGRAVATED BY THE POLLUTION IN THE AIR THAT THEY BREATHE
While most of America is caught-up this week bickering over who is best qualified to answer the phone at 3 AM, those lobbying boys and girls of K street and their kinfolk in the executive suites of Corporate America, are reaching out to whomever will still take their calls in the Bush white house, in a last ditch attempt to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing new rules, which would reduce the allowable amount of ozone — commonly referred to as smog — in the air.
The lobbyists’ argument is that compliance with tougher laws will be costly and could, at least temporarily, “harm the economy in the areas forced to reduce emissions”.
Seriously now, don’t you just feel for these poor put upon souls in the executive suites of some of America’s most successful manufacturers, power utilities, and other corporate polluters? Doesn’t your heart just go out for them in their time of need?
Perhaps if the entities in question had looked to the future years ago and begun to make the necessary adjustments because they were the “right” thing to do, they would not find themselves in the pickle that they are in today.
What’s more, had they acted way back when, they could have amortized the cost of compliance over a longer period of time and not be faced with the financial hit that they are sure to take in this, the eleventh hour.
But no! One of the great disappointments in America today, is that our corporations need to be forced, kicking and screaming, to do what is best for all of America and not just what is profitable for their executives and stockholders.
What the men and women in the executive suites need to realize is that if they were to get their way on this issue, you and I, and millions of our fellow citizens who suffer from health conditions either caused by, or greatly aggravated by, polluted air will pay for their good fortune.
To put this in perspective, the EPA has estimated that the planned reduction ( from 80 to 70 parts per billion) could result annually in 2,300 fewer nonfatal heart attacks; 48,000 fewer respiratory problems, acute bronchitis and asthma attacks; 7,600 fewer respiratory related hospital visits, and 890,000 fewer days when people miss work or school.
When seen in these terms, the EPA’s decision is a no-brainer. The question is why have they waited so long to make these changes? If you and I committed some act, which jeopardized the health of as many of our fellow citizens, we would be forced to answer for our actions in a court of law. Shouldn’t the corporations be held to the same standards?
The time has come in this county to place what is best for the many above that, which works for the few. The Republican ideal of a market-based economy, where the corporation reigns supreme, has failed. It is time that balance is returned to these United States, and to do this, the Corporations need to be reigned in and subjected to the rule of law.