July 1, 2010
MoveOn.org's "Top 10 Corporate Outrages"
MoveOn.org sent me their list of the Top 10 Corporate Outrages. I thought the list might be of interest to our readers, so here it is:
1. Exxon Mobil made
millions in profits, and yet paid not one dime in federal income taxes in 2009.
2. The 2005 energy bill had a little known provision, commonly called the Halliburton Loophole, which exempted natural gas drilling from the Clean Water Act. The result? Water so contaminated that you can light it on fire.
3. Massey Energy was cited more than 2400 times for safety violations in its mines, but chose not to fix potentially lethal problems because low penalties meant it was cheaper to simply keep paying the fines. This spring, 29 miners were killed in an underground explosion at a Massey mine in West Virginia.
4. Michael Taylor was the FDA official who approved the use of Monsanto's Bovine Growth Hormone in dairy cows (even though it's banned in most countries and linked to cancer). After approving it, he left the FDA—to work for Monsanto. Until last year, when he moved back to the government—as President Obama's "Food Safety Czar." No joke.
5. Internal Toyota documents outline how the company was successful in limiting regulators actions in the recalls last year—saving hundreds of millions while the death toll continued to climb.
6. GE and it's lobbyists—including 33 former government employees—have successfully lobbied Congress to override Defense Department requests to cancel a GE contract to work on a new engine for the strike fighter jet. GE will need $2.9 billion to finish the project.
7. Top executives at 9 top banks including Citibank, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley paid themselves over $20 billion dollars in bonuses just weeks after tax payers bailed them out to the tune of 700 billion dollars.
8. During the waning days of the Bush administration officials responded to a long-term lobbying campain by pre-empting product liability lawsuits for dozens of whole industries. They bypassed congress entirely and rewrote rules ranging from seatbelt manufacturing regulations to prescription drug safety.
9. Sunscreen manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson and Schering-Plough, in the interest of profits, are opposing an FDA proposal requiring full reporting on sunscreen labels. The New York Times just confirmed that current SPF ratings don't even measure sun rays that cause cancer.
10. BP—a company with a record of 760 drilling safety and environmental violations—was granted safety waivers in order to operate the deepwater drilling rig that ultimately created the worst environmental disaster in US history.