Can ‘Powerless Nobodies’ Fight the Corporate Powers?
by Jim Hightower
Posted February 13, 2020
The Formosa settlement victory sets a major legal precedent to advance other citizen lawsuits against polluters, requiring that the polluters (not taxpayers) pay for their messes.
The many sparkling bays along the Texas coastline of the Gulf of Mexico have long provided both a working-class living and a valued lifestyle for generations of shrimpers, oysterers and other fishing families. People and seafood, however, are not the only creatures here, for such wildlife as alligators and snakes also call many of these interconnected waterways home. Yet, by necessity and experience, the hardy people of the water have figured out how to share the bays so all creatures can get along.
But in the 1980s, a strange and invasive new critter entered Lavaca Bay, near the town of Port Comfort. Far from getting along, this species proceeded over the years to devour whole harvests of seafood, along with the livelihoods of local Gulf communities. This marauder was not some monster from the deep but a massive, 45,000-acre factory looming over Lavaca Bay. It is the Formosa Plastics Corporation, founded by the richest man in Taiwan. More…