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Florence shows cost of inadequate regulation
David Kyler
David Kyler is executive director of the St. Simon’s Island-based Center for a Sustainable Coast.

The latest assault on public health and the environment should make it clear U.S. laws are serving corporate profits instead of American citizens.

Due to heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm Florence, corporate-owned coal-ash ponds and open “lagoons” of animal waste have spilled vast amounts of toxins into waterways and landscapes where they impose significant, unjustified risks to the public. These consequences were a direct result of permissive laws and biased legal findings that encourage reckless practices supporting business profits at the public’s expense.

Over recent decades, laws and court decisions – primarily federal and in some states – have increasingly favored corporations. These positions have given corporations the advantage of operating as individuals under First Amendment protections by substituting political donations for words, while failing to punish corporate decision-makers whose activities severely harm the public.

Unlike most citizens, it appears that corporations and their extravagantly paid executives enjoy a uniquely protected legal status.

David Kyler

Center for a Sustainable Coast

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