New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week proudly declared that he had successfully lured General Electric into “coming home.” It took $50 million in taxpayer subsidies to convince the company to build a new manufacturing facility in upstate New York, but this was money well spent, Cuomo asserted, noting that GE used to be “such a big part of this community and provided so many jobs and was such a vital player in this community.” Cuomo is now pushing to authorize an additional, undisclosed amount to entice GE to also relocate its corporate headquarters from Connecticut back to New York, some 40 years after it left.
The welcoming rhetoric from the New York governor, a Democrat, presents a stark change from recent years, in which GE was known throughout the state as a large-scale industrial polluter: During the mid-20th century, the company dumped more than one million pounds of chemicals linked to cancer into the Hudson River.
Since 2009, the technology and manufacturing conglomerate has contributed more than $466,000 to Cuomo’s campaigns and political groups that have supported his bids for governor, according to state and federal campaign finance records.
New York state and federal authorities have for decades sparred with GE over the pace and extent of its promised cleanup of the Hudson from years of manufacturing-related chemical dumping, a battle that continues even as Cuomo now extends the state’s largess. In the same week Cuomo was promoting his plans to subsidize GE, federal officials told New York authorities that the company had been underreporting the volume of toxic chemicals that are still in the river’s ecosystem. Meanwhile, New York lawmakers, businesses and environmental groups have been raising concerns that the company is now moving to prematurely abandon the cleanup operations, while a report from federal government scientists said GE needs to conduct additional dredging to fully clean up the river.
PCB's remain in the Hudson, but GE is claiming the clean-up's all done, it's time to move on.
Cuomo's move here essentially greenwashes them from responsibility.
Hey Andy, why not see if Union Carbide is looking to move headquarters next?
I hear they're owned by Dow Chemical - I bet you can get some campaign cash in return for tax subsidies and some greenwashing from them too.