CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The company that owns the facility that leaked 10,000 gallons of chemicals into the water supply of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians last month was a no-show at a congressional hearing on the spill Monday.
Freedom Industries, which owns the storage facility that leaked chemicals into the Elk River, did not have any representatives at a hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held in the state capital Monday morning. The company's president, Gary Southern, had been invited to testify.
I think we all know what's wrong with Freedom Industries, they were left to their own devices and not properly regulated. They ignored common sense and even a single ounce of prevention thus allowing a massive chemical spill. This accident just happened to poison and sicken hundreds of thousands in West Virginia. This didn't go unnoticed by our Congress. Au contraire. Our Congress is "Johnny on the spot."
They invited the company's president Gary Southern, the man who should have some answers to this ongoing crisis to come in for a chat. They didn't subpoena him. They didn't demand his presence to answer questions. They didn't invoke sworn testimony. They invited him for tea.
"He chose not to be here today to answer for what his company has done to the people of West Virginia. And I find that extremely telling," said Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). "Freedom Industries' decision not to testify today compounds its gross misconduct, and is an absolute affront to every person impacted by its spill."
That's appalling. Did they really think he'd show up if he didn't have to? And how truthful would his answers have been if he wasn't sworn in before testifying?
So what is Congress really trying to do with this phony outrage? It's been a month since the toxic spill. If they wanted to really get down to the bottom of this, they'd have chosen to demand his presence and before a month had gone by. How many more people are going to be sickened by this ineffectively soft action by Congress?
It's a trick question. The real answer is all of us, not just those in West Virginia. We're paying the salaries of these jerks to hold meaningful investigations and they've let us down, again. So if you want their names, click HERE.
But get this -- who chairs this committee? Who's the man (yes, man because Republicans chair all committees in the House and they're all men) who should be most adamant about getting to the bottom of this West Virginia catastrophe? The chairman himself, Nick J. Rahall II (R-West Virginia). And all he could do is issue an invitation to appear? Does it sound like either the Chairman or the Republicans who are against the EPA all together or chemical storage regulations on any level really want to get to the bottom of this? That answer is a big, fat 'no'. They're too busy protecting the dirty coal industry.
Time to use common sense -- something Congress is woefully devoid of. Issue subpoenas and demand the appearance of the parties responsible for this mass poisoning. If this were a wounding of hundreds of thousands by gunfire, you would have seen an congressional subpoenas flying from Congress so fast it would make the NRA demand limits on clip/subpoena capacity. And it would be from something more than some low-ranking committee.
Killing people by poison is no less of a death than by by shooting. So it's time to take some action and demand some answers. Don't pussy-foot around with genteel party invites. Dirty coal and government support don't belong in the same cesspool.