In addition, in West Virginia, above-ground storage tanks are not strictly regulated. The tank that leaked had not been inspected in 12 years.
Another problem is that little is known about MCHM and its health impact. The Post said that “U.S. law on chemical safety is 37 years old, riddled with exceptions, and widely seen as ineffective.”
• After the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released yet another dire warning of ecological collapse, famine, flooding and pestilence, Elizabeth Kolbert, writing in The New Yorker, pointed out some surprising facts about our government.
“Instead of discouraging fossil-fuel use,” she said, “the U.S. government underwrites it, with tax incentives for producers worth about $4 billion a year.”
Kolbert also said the tax credit that spurred growth in wind-power generation in the U.S. has been allowed to expire.
President Barack Obama has proposed tightening carbon emissions from power plants and large vehicles. He has prohibited building new coal-fired plants, but at the same time is pressing for more production from other fossil fuels.
• The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been criticized for dragging its feet by not forcing General Motors to recall flawed cars linked to numerous accidents, some fatal.
Two Chevrolet models had faulty ignition switches and the Saturn Ion had a power-steering problem.
GM is facing several investigations for delaying its recall until long after accidents and complaints had surfaced. It could be hit with criminal charges along with numerous lawsuits.
But it is just as disturbing to find that the government knew about the faulty cars, investigated, but did nothing to step in to protect the public from GM.
• In the latest incidence of the government siding with corporations, the Federal Communications Commission last week made it clear it planned to propose new rules that would create a two-tiered Internet, one for the big guys willing to pay and one for the 99 percent.