« Oh, THAT Juan Valdez | Main | Dude, this guy is Awesome. »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Then we wonder why our children grow up thinking that we are giving them a wheelbarrow of c**** when we tell them:

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY!

Of course, they already learned that from the NBA

You're advocating no corporate responsibility.

"Oh sure, we were polluting. Shouldn't have been doing it in the first place. But we found out our problems ourselves! So, because we were honest about it, the state should pick up the tab in cleaning all that c*** up. We'll do better next time, we promise!"

Every time you mention one of these things, you generally preface it by saying "Hey, I like clean air and drinking water as much as the next guy, BUT..."

Has it really moved beyong the provenance of the conservative movement to say: Companies shouldn't pollute in the first place, and if they do they should be responsible for their mess? Isn't the very foundation of conservatism personal (or in this case corporate) responsibility?

This is why so many people see tort reform and deregulation as a free ride for business: "We won't regulate them to start with, and if they screw up, we'll shield them from responsibility later".

Greg - The "polluter protection act" did not die a quick death. It passed out of the Legislature and went to Gov. Symington's desk. He vetoed it, citing problems with the bill, but agreeing with some of the principles involved. Whether a company pays a fine depends on the severity and duration of the problem. I don't have the facts of the Honeywell case, but it sounds like they discovered a pretty significant problem. Is it "payola"? Probably. And we can debate the value of punitive damages. But you can be sure that Honeywell's environmental controls will be more rigorous and proactive in the future. The last thing we want is for a company to make a financial calculation that polluting the environment is worth the cost in fines and penalties.

In fact, your argument makes a strong case for government regulation. As other posters noted, admitting you screwed up doesn't get you off the hook. If you turned yourself in to police for a crime you committed, would you expect to evade criminal penalties?

I strongly suspect Honeywell's fne amount was mitigated by the fact that they self-reported. If they tried to cover it up the fine would have been higher.

And if we allowed polluters to keep their sins secret, they would likely escape civil penalties.

That's government at work for you.

You conveniently left out the fact that, of that $3 million penalty, only about $750K is an actual fine. The rest of that money is to be used to clean up their plant -- you know, the one violating the environmental laws -- and complete some other environmental projects around the county.

Is it still punitive? Sure. But Honeywell broke the law.

The comments to this entry are closed.