chemical & oil giants built plants in poor neighborhoods; in sacrifice zones , the poor fight back - white charcoal factory
On August, there was a screening in the East Hampton. -
The sequel to Wall Street, everything. -
A party was then held at David Koch's house.
I happened to be in the Hamptons that weekend.
A friend invited me to the party. I declined.
I refused because I knew who David Koch was.
The owner of Koch Industries, one of the top ten most serious air pollution companies in the United States.
He and his family are also major donors to the right.
Including groups with close ties to the Tea Party-
The "major" I mean is more than $100 million.
But I didn't leave because of his political reasons.
I know that if I go to a party in Koch, I have to make some statements about the disease to my master.
Why not eat his shrimp with his champagne?
Because silence equals consent.
Perhaps for the New York Rich, whose charities have benefited from Koch's contributions, it's easy to pretend he's just a great tycoon ---
His political contributions are difficult to track, and there is no evidence that he is directly involved in environmental crime at the company. But hey --
There is a pattern.
People know even if they don't have enough facts.
The day after the party, everyone knows-
The New Yorker published Jane Mayer's iconic article about David Koch and his brother.
Sample: On 1999, the jury found Koch Industries guilty of negligence and malice in the deaths of two Texas teenagers
Explosion caused by leakage of the underground benzene pipeline. (
On 2001, the company paid an undisclosed settlement. )
In the last few months of Clinton's presidency, the Justice Department willseven-
Prosecuted the company for covering up the dismissal of 90 people
A ton of benzene from the Corpus Christi refinery in Texas is a carcinogenic substance.
The company is liable for a fine of $0. 35 billion and four Koch employees face a fine of up to £ 30
Five years in prison.
Koch Petroleum Group finally acknowledged a criminal charge covering up environmental violations, including forged documents, and paid £ 20. million-dollar fine.
David Uhlmann was a professional prosecutor who led the environment-
The Justice Department crime section said the lawsuit was "one of the most important cases brought under the Clean Air Act.
He added, "environmental crime is almost always driven by economics and arrogance, and in the Koch case there is a healthy dose for both.
"Kochi's businesses are no surprise in the sacrifice zone, which is a detailed record of Steve Lerner's exposure to toxic chemicals in our country. (
To purchase this book from Amazon, click here. )
For those who are not familiar with the concept, the "sacrifice zone" is a Russian term ---
It refers to residential areas that are always contaminated by nuclear radiation.
In the United States, we have fewer reactors and are better built;
This refers to communities where industrial pollution poses a threat to health.
I bet you wouldn't be shocked to see that African-Americans are 79% more likely to live in these communities than white people.
Steve Lerner is my college roommate and one of my closest friends.
In our burning young age, we are the kind of journalists that are not particularly welcome by powerful people: aggressive, honest, and not completely untalented.
Along the way, I fell into the cream of a Vanity Fair and misplaced some of my edges.
Diamond: The fight for the environment
In the chemical corridor in the state of Luis Anna, Steve recorded the lives of the poor in an isolated town. to-
Closely linked to two nasty industrial factories.
It's a story of abuse, struggle and victory--
Eventually, a grassroots campaign led by a local teacher forced Shell Oil to buy many of the affected homes. (
To purchase this book from Amazon, click here. )
The sacrifice zone takes home stories like this-
More than a dozen communities have been deliberately contaminated by American businesses.
This is a repeated book: pain, more pain, government apathy, and then residents fight back.
This is hardly a battle.
The staff of these companies have a team of lawyers.
Because they usually offer only a few miles of work, they have local governments in their pockets. It's oh-so-
It's hard to prove the dirt.
The white sheets hanging on the clothes line of the poor came from a polluters chimney.
Victory is bittersweet. -
Activists don't always see the fruits of their work, they use the precious days of their lives to organize the community.
Okala, Florida: black snow at the charcoal plant ".
A city run by five whites.
Give away dirty sheets to the City Council.
There is no factory in the chimney for a rear burner.
The company closed the plant and removed the chimney before it could be tested for contaminants.
Port of Illinois, Texas: 15.
A refinery owned by Shell Oil and Saudi Aramco released 5 million pounds of pollutants in a year. (
The factory released 9 tons while the children were waiting for the school bus. )
On the refusal list--
California, San Antonio and New York's Green Point, Ohio, and adelston, Daley.
You will soon understand.
If you were me, you would ask yourself: who really needs to read this book?
What about the bad guys?
That is the companies that target minorities and the poor and then pollute them.
Steve Lerner is not shy about naming them.
He often recognized their speakers.
But it is impossible for the bad guys to go for the book.
Records are vast--
They don't care.
I have an idea: buy books.
Read as much as you can and then send it to the CEO of the biggest polluters you know.
Perhaps with a pleasant mood: "look forward to reading about your company in the next edition.
"I note with interest, for example, that there are six major refineries in Corpus Christi, Texas ---
"The most concentrated place in the country.
"As Jane Mayer reported in her New Yorker profile, a company owned by Koch Industries, which released a large amount of benzene from the plant.
You know, Benzene causes leukemia and is toxic to the liver, skin and cardiovascular system.
I would love to send the sacrifice area to David Koch with this chapter written and a "way forward" card attached.
It's not much, maybe it's against the social customs of the arrogant areas of the towns we all live in.
But this is at least a way to break the silence.
This is not what I really want to send--
A can of benzene.