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Mon Feb 10, 2014, 07:06 PM

Company Responsible For West Virginia Chemical Spill Skips Congressional Hearing

Source: Think Progress

Exactly one month and a day after 10,000 gallons of chemicals spilled into West Virginia’s water, members of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure committee on Monday traveled to the state’s capital city, ostensibly to ask state leaders the still-unanswered questions surrounding the leak. There are many.

Perhaps the most important party that could provide answers would have been Freedom Industries, the company whose chemical storage tanks leaked a coal-cleaning chemical called crude MCHM into the water. Company president Gary Southern had been invited to testify, but in the end, did not show up.

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

Freedom Industries’ decision not to show up to a hearing that otherwise housed every party that should be held accountable for the spill (Representatives from West Virginia American Water, West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board showed up, to name a few) is depressingly typical, and a painful reminder of the company’s non-presence throughout the month-long ordeal.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/10/3273201/freedom-chemical/



Duh-uh! Congressional investigative hearings include the power to subpoena witnesses. Whomever organized this really screwed up in failing to subpoena Gary Southern. Since he insulted the House Committee by ignoring the invitation and not appearing voluntarily, I trust the Committee will now subpoena his sorry a** to Washington. It should be a subpoena duces tecum, i.e, translates to "bring with you under penalty of punishment" and obliges the recipient to appear and bring with him/her all documents or other tangible evidence for use at hearing or trial. The subpoena can spell out a description of such documents.
Subpoenas and depositions:
Most individuals respond favorably to an invitation to testify before Congress, believing it to be a valuable opportunity to communicate and publicize their views on a question of public policy. However, if a person will not come by invitation alone, a committee or subcommittee may require an appearance through the issuance of a subpoena (Rule XXVI, paragraph 1). Committees also may subpoena correspondence, books, papers, and other documents. Subpoenas are issued infrequently, and most often in the course of investigative hearings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subpoena_duces_tecum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_congressional_hearing

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Company Responsible For West Virginia Chemical Spill Skips Congressional Hearing (Original post)
Divernan Feb 2014 OP
Brigid Feb 2014 #1
Divernan Feb 2014 #2
theHandpuppet Feb 2014 #7
AndyTiedye Feb 2014 #3
freshwest Feb 2014 #4
2naSalit Feb 2014 #5
wordpix Feb 2014 #6

Response to Divernan (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 07:10 PM

1. Yep, only one word comes to mind:

SUBPOENA. And jail for those who do not comply in a timely manner. And do it now, before they have time to destroy evidence

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Response to Brigid (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 07:27 PM

2. Good point.Re future spills, copy the hard drives on day one, and vacuum up emails daily.


Now there is where NSA surveillance could be put to good use. Let's see all the emails to and from this company since that particular location has been in operation.

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Response to Brigid (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 10:27 PM

7. +1000!

You said it. Now we'll find out if anyone is listening.

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:44 PM

3. But the Party of Business-Can-Do-No-Wrong Owns the House

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 09:00 PM

4. You figured this one out pretty well... And besides, the company closed itself down and declared

Last edited Mon Feb 10, 2014, 10:26 PM - Edit history (1)

bankruptcy almost immediately. That will be the guy's excuse, he's no longer in charge.

I said at the time that 'Freedom' would probably reorganize under another deceptive title, like 'Purity' or something...

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Response to freshwest (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 09:25 PM

5. Well, consdiering that

the guy who allegedly is "buying" Freedom Chem is the same guy who owned it already means they just change the name and all is well.

I have to look around to find a link to that but i think Rachel pointed that out the day they filed, either she did or Chris Hayes did... I remember watching that on one of the shows.

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2014, 09:36 PM

6. how does the Repuglicon "too many regulations" crowd spin this one?

That will be an interesting show

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