From Political Economy Research Institute, the latest list of the top 100 corporate air polluters was released not long ago. Basically, I find it quite depressing. Not surprising, but still depressing.

The Toxic 100 Air Polluters index identifies the top U.S. air polluters among the world’s largest corporations. The index relies on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Risk Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI), which assesses the chronic human health risk from industrial toxic releases. … In addition to the amount of toxic chemicals released, RSEI also includes the degree of toxicity and population exposure. The Toxic 100 Air Polluters ranks corporations based on the chronic human health risk from all of their U.S. polluting facilities.

The emphasis on “chronic human health risk” is something that doesn’t seem to enter DC Electeds decisions about what’s good for business, especially really, really big business.

Go here for a complete list, with links to each company name for detailed reports. The top twenty:

1 Bayer Group; 2 Textron Inc.; 3 General Electric Co.; 4 Precision Castparts; 5 Koch Industries; 6 SPX Corp.; 7 Dow Chemical Co.; 8 ExxonMobil; 9 BASF; 10 Northrop Grumman Corp.; 11 Public Service Enterprise Group; 12 Sony Corp.; 13 LyondellBasell Industries; 14 Biomet, Inc.; 15 Owens Corning; 16 Berkshire Hathaway; 17 Honeywell International; 18 Eastman Kodak Co.; 19 Ineos; 20 Alcoa Inc.

Coincidentally, at least in terms of my posting today, the number five polluter, Koch Industries, are on the Forbes: The 400 Wealthiest People in the U.S. list. The Koch brothers are also identified in another post, “˜Americans for Prosperity’ (Funded by Koch Bros.) Take to Streets to “˜Combat’ Occupy Wall Street. I’m guessing it really isn’t coincidental, however, that we see at least some of the same people on lists of polluters, wealth and “social welfare” type political spending.

About the “Toxic 100,” from TruthOut:

“˜The Toxic 100 Air Polluters informs consumers and shareholders which large corporations release the most toxic pollutants into our air,’ said Professor James Boyce, co-director of PERIs Corporate Toxics Information Project. “˜We assess not just how many pounds of pollutants are released, but which are the most toxic and how many people are at risk. People have a right to know about toxic hazards to which they are exposed. Legislators need to understand the effects of pollution on their constituents.’

The Toxic 100 Air Polluters Index is based on air releases of hundreds of chemicals from tens of thousands of industrial facilities across the U.S. The rankings take into account not only the quantity of releases, but also the toxicity of chemicals, factors such as prevailing winds and height of smokestacks, and the number of people exposed. …

“˜In making this information available, we are building on the achievements of the right-to-know movement,’ explains Professor Michael Ash, co-Director of the project. “˜Our goal is to promote public participation in environmental decision-making, and to help residents translate the right to know into the right to clean air.’

To find out what some of the presidential candidates say about issues like the environment and energy, follow the links below.

Gary Johnson, Libertarian, “Energy & Environment.”
Barack Obama, Democratic, “Environment” and “Energy.”
Mitt Romney, Republican, “Energy.” (“Environment” isn’t on the “Issues” list).
Jill Stein, Green, “Environment” and “Clean Energy.”

(Photo via Photobucket)