Company Responsible for West Virginia Chemical Spill No-Shows Congressional Hearing

GarySouthernThe entire fiasco that’s been the Freedom Industries chemical spill into the water source for thousands of West Virginia residents seems to get worse by the day.

It started with reports about the company not reporting the spill immediately.  Then questions about exactly what chemicals were spilled.  Then there was the classic press gathering where the president of Freedom Industries, Gary Southern, took a refreshing drink of bottled water while discussing the contamination of drinking water his company was responsible for.

Then I’m sure many of you heard about the company filing for bankruptcy shortly after the spill, more or less protecting them from lawsuits they would have undoubtedly faced.

Well now, when a Congressional hearing was being held concerning the spill, not a single person from Freedom Industries decided to show up.

You know, the company responsible for the damn chemical spill to begin with.

Republican Representative Shelley Moore Capito said, “I find that extremely telling.  Freedom Industries’ decision not to testify today compounds its gross misconduct, and is an absolute affront to every person impacted by its spill.”

But what I call this chemical spill is unregulated capitalism in action.  Heck, look at this situation.  With regulations, this company got away with this.  Do people really believe deregulating big corporations would cause fewer instances such as these?

You’re insane if you really believe that.

When asked by the Huffington Post for comment, Freedom Industries directed to them to their lawyer who issued a statement saying that no one from Freedom Industries showed up, “because the company is relatively small and we are focused exclusively on remediation of the spill.”


They didn’t show up because they’re cowards.  They undoubtedly know it was their mishandling and incompetence which led to this spill, and instead of showing up at this hearing to face the harsh questions concerning their incompetence – they decided not to go.

It’s ridiculous.  The company responsible for the chemical spill that led to these hearings refuses to show up?  And their “excuse” is that they’re just a small company focused on cleaning up the spill.

It’s something you would almost expect The Onion to write.  A story about a company that poisons the water for thousands of Americans deciding not to show up at the hearing because they basically didn’t want to.

Which might be a funny article, if it hadn’t really happened.

But the next time someone wants to talk about the “evils” of regulation and the “greatness” of deregulation, just point them to instances such as the chemical spill in West Virginia, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico or the plant explosion in West, Texas.  Because even with regulation these horrible accidents happened.  Without these regulations I can promise you we wouldn’t just see a few more of these accidents, we’d see many more and they’d be a lot worse.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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