Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 10:30 am
Those regulations are only as good as the human, and therefore fallible, regulators who oversee them.
Just ask the families and friends affected by the 2010 Upper Branch Mine disaster in West Virginia if government regulations protected their loved ones.
In the 30 days prior to the explosion, the coal company had been cited for 57 safety violations. It disregarded the citations and the result was 29 deaths.
Ask the business community of the Gulf Coast if the regulations and regulators protected them from the BP Oil catastrophe.
It was not the first time and it will not be the last time that regulations were not enforced or simply ignored.
Many politicians and regulators are often intimidated by powerful companies because of the large amounts of money the companies can spend to influence elections and the political process.
Taxpayers are often stuck with the costs of clean-ups when mining companies declare bankruptcy and simply walk away from the man-made disaster that the company created.
I would like to remind you of an old ballad that tells the story of a young girl walking through the forest one cold winter day when she spies a beautifully banded snake lying nearly frozen along the pathway.
She takes it to her cabin and warms it by the fire where the snake revives. The snake, which is poisonous, then bites her.
As she lies dying she cries out to the snake “Why did you bite me when I saved your life?”
The grinning snake replies, “But you knew I was a snake when you took me in.”
We admonish our political leaders not to bring this snake into our house – Pittsylvania County.
Do not lift this ban.