New York governor and unblinking humanoid statue Andrew Cuomo is currently trying to lure GE’s corporate headquarters back to New York—the same state that GE polluted the hell out of last time it was here. Huzzah!
As David Sirota points out, GE has given nearly half a million dollars to Cuomo’s campaigns since 2009. That pittance from the company was only 1% of the $50 million that the state of New York gave them to build a new plant here—a wonderful investment. Now, Cuomo is trying to convince legislators to shower GE with even more money in the form of tax breaks and corporate welfare in order to get them to move their headquarters from Connecticut back to New York. This has upset not only the standard corporate welfare opponents (reasonable people), but also the sort of radical environmentalists who object to the fact that GE once spent several decades thoroughly polluting the Hudson River with toxic PCBs, and still has not finished cleaning up their mess. The company is currently trying to convince regulators that the cleanup it’s done so far is sufficient, but environmental watchdogs disagree. Since the Hudson still isn’t totally safe to swim in, it’s not an unreasonable point. IB Times reports:
Ned Sullivan, a former environmental official in Mario Cuomo’s administration who now runs the environmental group Scenic Hudson, says GE should halt its plans to dismantle its dredging operations and spend an additional two seasons on the cleanup to finish the job. He says that would cost the company just $300 million to $400 million out of its annual $15 billion in annual profits. He also believes Cuomo must make that expenditure a condition of any taxpayer money given to GE.
The chance of Andrew Cuomo doing such a reasonable thing that might offend a large corporate donor is zero, which is why we need a law to stop states from competing with one another to throw corporate welfare at multinational corporations.
In the meantime, don’t drink any Hudson water.