In a statement today about the announced closing of the FitzPatrick nuclear plant in Scriba, NY, Governor Cuomo spoke out on “Good corporate citizenship.”
“The closing of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant will devastate the lives of the more than 600 employees and their families. Good corporate citizenship must appreciate that there are many factors that count as the “bottom line.” The State of New York will pursue every legal and regulatory avenue in an attempt to stop Entergy’s actions and its callous disregard for their skilled and loyal workforce.”
We are glad to see the governor speaking out, and we would like to see him extend his philosophy of corporate responsibility to his dealings with America’s most notorious corporate tax dodger and local environmental scofflaw, General Electric. Governor Cuomo has been publicly wooing GE to bring its headquarters from Connecticut to New York — probably New York City, and has implied that he will give GE significant taxpayer subsidies. It is hard to see how GE qualifies as a “good corporate citizen.” Just last month, the New York Times harshly criticized GE for refusing to finish cleaning up the toxic PCB’s it dumped in the Hudson River, and Governor Cuomo for letting GE off the hook. GE also fails in another basic measurement of corporate citizenship — paying taxes. It is highly ironic that Cuomo is offering NYS tax dollars to a company which holds $119B in profits off-shore, and is ranked as the second biggest corporate tax evader and which paid -$71m in state income taxes in 2014. GE employs 9,000 New Yorkers and is important to the state, but a good corporate “citizen” pays its taxes and considers more than the bottom line.