by MoveOn.org Political Action
You might have heard this: BP is so well connected in Washington that even after being cited for 760 different safety and environmental violations, the company still got environmental waivers for the Deepwater Horizon rig that’s now destroying the Gulf.1
But BP’s not alone in using its DC influence. Check out the list below of other companies’ outrages—then pass it along. And be sure to sign the new Fight Washington Corruption Pledge to support 3 key measures that will protect our democracy from corporate lobbyists!
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
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
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
6. GE and its 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 Joint Strike Fighter jet. GE will need $2.9 billion to finish the project.7
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 taxpayers bailed them out to the tune of 700 billion dollars.8
8. During the waning days of the Bush administration, officials responded to a long-term lobbying campaign 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
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
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.1
Mad yet? Sign the pledge here and we’ll pass your name on to your member of Congress, and ask them to Fight Washington Corruption too.
1. “BP’s latest plan succeeding, but may make spill worse,” Newsweek, June 2, 2010.
2. “GE, Exxon Paid No U.S. Income Taxes in 2009,” ABC News, April 6, 2010
3. “Why is Dick Cheney Silent on the Oil Spill?,” Newsweek, June 10, 2010
4. “Other Massey Mines Showed A Pattern Of Violations,” NPR, April 13, 2010
5. “Monsanto’s man Taylor returns to FDA in food-czar role,” Grist, July 8, 2009
6. “Toyota tried to cut costs on recalls,” Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2010
7. “GE vice chairman openly challenges Gates over F-35 fighter jet engine,” The Hill, June 17, 2010
8. “Bankers Reaped Lavish Bonuses During Bailouts,” The New York Times, July 30, 2009
9. “Bush Rule Changes Curtail Rights of States, Consumers,” Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2008
10. “UVA Reform: It’s Not PDQ,” The New York Times, June 23, 2010