A pillaging by lawyers

“They (sic, DuPont) want to convert the natural resources, the rivers and the streams, the farms and grasses and people into instantaneous cash as quickly as they can. They can have a few years of pollution-based prosperity and can impoverish the people of West Virginia and make them sick,” a quote by Robert Kennedy Jr. (News and Sentinel, Feb. 14).

A multimillionaire lawyer from New York pontificating with his vast knowledge of our state. We can only be thankful this crusader has come to save us poor folk in West Virginia. Of course, I am sure he and his co-crusader, Harry Dietzler, are working pro bono! Right? And, the rich get richer. Sounds to me like a few people in New York are looking to get very, very rich(er).

“A few year”s my recollection is DuPont started construction in 1946-47 and has been operating the Washington Works site since 1948 to today. That would be 66-plus years of manufacturing level jobs with benefits in the Mid-Ohio Valley. Just a few?

Oh, and don’t forget the Belle Works site in Belle. Construction was started there in 1925. That was just a few years ago too. “The DuPont Belle Works, a mainstay in the economy of the upper Kanawha Valley of West Virginia for more than 75 years,” a quote from the West Virginia Encyclopedia. This doesn’t sound like DuPont took the money and ran but has hung around for quite a while. Does anyone remember who owns Consolidated Coal? They have hired a few miners over the years.

At their peaks, Belle employed nearly 5,000 and Washington Works close to 4,000. While neither plant is at that level now, one only has to wonder after these few years, what the economies of the Mid-Ohio and Kanawha Valley would have looked like had DuPont not chosen to invest here.

After these few years of raping and pillaging the state, maybe DuPont, Sabic and the other chemical companies that have been the cornerstone of manufacturing in West Virginia for decades, should close. Then, all those laid-off workers could go out and get minimum wage jobs shuffling papers for lawyers.

Tom Phillips

Vienna