On top of the massive tax breaks and subsidies the fossil fuel industries receive - both direct and indirect - yet another form of de facto corporate welfare to these folks is the fact that they're essentially allowed to pollute with impunity And it's not just in the United States, either. For instance, check this out:
A new report out today finds that environmental infractions by companies in the Alberta oil sands are addressed with an enforcement action far less often than similar infractions reported to the United State's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The report [pdf], authored by the environmental non-profit Global Forest Watch, looked at more than 15 years of data on recorded environmental mishaps by oil sand's companies, tracking the follow-up actions taken and the final verdict on fines.
The findings are absolutely shocking and put to shame the idea that Canadians care about their natural environment. If we do care, then this report should be a wake up call for us all.
Of the more than 4,000 infractions reported, less than 1 per cent (.09 to be exact) received an enforcement action (that would be less than 40 of 4,000). Compare this the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who has an enforcement rate of 16 per cent for similar infractions by companies under their Clean Water Act.