Tonawanda News

August 9, 2012

Whose side is Caruana on?

The Tonawanda News

— After reading Supervisor Caruana’s letter defending DuPont and tax dollar funding for the corporation, we at the Clean Air Coalition have a question for the town supervisor: Whose side are you on? Are you on the side of giving handouts to the polluting, job-cutting multi-billion dollar corporation or are you on the side of your Tonawanda voters and of the sick families and workers in your community?

DuPont is a corporate polluter that is responsible for 21 percent of air emissions in Erie County. DuPont violated the Clean Air Act just this year. The Chemical Safety Board found that DuPont’s management practices were to blame for the death of a contractor in 2010. We do not believe DuPont should receive $800,000 in tax breaks as they are laying off workers and breaking the law.

Supervisor Caruana should let DuPont do their own public relations work. They can hire the best PR machine money can buy. The company’s CEO made over $11 million in 2010. It would take a person living in the neighborhood adjacent to the plant more than 700 years to earn one year of the CEO’s income. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the company spent over $4.8 million lobbying the federal government in 2011.

Instead of defending DuPont publicly, the supervisor should spend his time standing up for his citizens by convincing DuPont to phase out carcinogens and improve their worker-safety programs.

The Clean Air Coalition is a grassroots organization made up of working people and sick people who are committed to making Tonawanda a healthier and safer place to live, work and play. We have a successful track record of holding polluters accountable and improving the lives of our members. And we would welcome the supervisor on our side. So Mr. Supervisor, whose side are you on?