News Release

West Virginia Chemical Spill

CNN reports today: “West Virginia chemical spill shines spotlight on loose regulation.”

RUSSELL MOKHIBER, russellmokhiber at gmail.com, @CorpCrimeReport
Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter and morgancountyusa.org in West Virginia. He said today: “In West Virginia, both the Republicans and Democrats are bought and paid for and regularly mouth Wall Street’s deregulatory dogma. West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection is in the pocket of the coal and chemical industries. The state’s mainstream media — with the exception of the Charleston Gazette — is asleep at the wheel.

“The local federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, is best known for giving Massey Energy a non-prosecution agreement in the face of 29 dead miners and a mountain of evidence — including 300 violations of federal law and nine flagrant violations that led to the April 2010 explosion and caused the deaths at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine. So, when a chemical leaked from a storage tank owned by the aptly named Freedom Industries (freedom from law and order, in this case) into the Elk River in Charleston last week, who could be surprised? Luckily, an independent political slate is being organized to push back against the state’s corporate cabal. The independent slate is being led by former CBS News reporter Ed Rabel, who is running for Congress in the second Congressional district and this week called for holding accountable ‘not just Freedom Industries, but all the irresponsible, shady, fast-buck operators that the coal industry brings into the state and their apologists in the state government, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin.’”

Mokhiber just wrote the piece “Ed Rabel, Booth Goodwin, West Virginia and the Chemical Spill” which notes that “In Washington, Democrats took Rabel up on his idea [for a Congressional investigation]. Congressmen Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), called for hearings.”