A corporation is a separate legal entity but the owners are not personally responsible in the event the company is sued. Unfortunately these loopholes allow for large corporations to run inefficiently for the safety of the workers and cause catastrophic environmental damage, much of which is irreversible.
With the recent comments of New York City Mayor Bloomberg, defending BP and their executives, the blame game once again seems to come to the surface. And like any angered citizen agrees, all parties should be accountable.
Corporations need to be held responsible for their actions and dealt with like a common criminal. Companies like Massey Energy Co., BP and many of the oil and gas titans have disastrous situations that end up revealing lax oversight and killing or injuring workers, many in unsafe conditions.
The death of a worker due to a company putting profits over safety is an unacceptable circumstance and needs to change. This is not an issue of big government taking control, but big corporation failing to govern themselves and effectively failing to fix the issues that leads to a catastrophic explosion or leak that causes unimaginable damage and hardship to the region affected.
Any theme park, water supply, auto company, etc. that operated with ongoing violations knowingly would not last and be shut down until further investigation. A grocery store must closely watch the food they sell and a restaurant needs to properly cook food to a certain temperature. Any health issue would anger customers and immediately shut down that company. Low oversight in industries such as food, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc. would outrage many people and would quickly be fixed. Much like the race to the moon.
These dangerous corporations need to be treated like criminals and put on probation to pay for the mistakes they have made and be an example of what not to do wrong. The beginning of our energy independence starts with taking responsibility and making sure we have a positive impact. America needs to lead by example.