BP’s record settlement of $4.5 billion for damages caused by the explosion and spill of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in 2010 is the largest criminal fine in U.S. history, but at a fifth of the company’s 2011 profits, to be paid over a span of five years, it amounts to a “pathetic” slap on the wrist, says Public Citizen’s Tyler Slocum.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secretive international trade pact under consideration by the Obama administration, would force American policy to conform to the whims of foreign corporations operating in the U.S. by allowing them to appeal key regulations to an international tribunal. That body would have the power to override U.S. law and issue penalties for failure to comply with its rulings.
A document from President Obama’s free trade negotiations that was leaked Wednesday morning revealed an administration proposal to allow multinational corporations doing business in the United States to police themselves via an international tribunal staffed by lawyers on the companies’ payroll. The scheme obliterates a 2008 promise by Obama to do just the opposite.
Good news for democracy: Lawmakers at all levels of government met with activists on Capitol Hill this week to sign a “Declaration for Democracy” in support of the effort to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.
A few weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration hit the American Red Cross with a nearly $10 million fine for safety violations, lax oversight and faulty testing of its blood services. The fine is just the latest of more than a dozen the Red Cross has racked up in the last decade.