Source: Counter Punch
In 2019, the state of Colorado surprised everyone by fining the Suncor oil refinery, which does its dirty business a few miles removed from the center of Denver, $9 million for an endless string of toxic releases exceeding its liberal, government-sanctioned permit to pollute under the federal Clean Air Act. Properly viewed this is another example of how, under the present neoliberal system of protecting corporate ambition, companies receive government issued indulgences to kill people, if ever so slowly.
After the state was rewarded with banner headlines and atta boys for its tough stance against Suncor’s unreasonably high corporate poisoning, it then gave most of the money back to the Canadian corporation so that it could hire another corporation to tell it why its operations were so filthy. A few million dollars later its contractor, in one of those corporate amen moments, agreed that indeed their operations were filthy; they could do better. That the operation is still an Augean mess was revealed for all once again when the refinery closed down production entirely last Christmas season after a series of serious mechanical breakdowns. Although two workers were seriously injured with burns, the general cause of the highly unusual, refinery-wide shutdown, that lasted until the March 3rd restart, remains unknown, though Suncor promises to reveal all sometime this summer.