Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
About this Blog   |   On Twitter   |   Follow us on Facebook   |   RSS Feeds RSS Feed

Environmental group blasts state for luring controversial company to Va.

Anita Kumar

State officials gave $250,000 to lure a paper company to Virginia that an environmental group says in a new report destroys rainforests, causes species extinction and threatens efforts to deal with climate change.

Mercury Paper, a subsidiary of Asia-based Sinar Mas Group, one of the world's leading pulp and paper companies, expanded its facility in Shenandoah County and relocated its North American headquarters to the site, creating 150 jobs and investing $21.2 million.

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) attended the company's ribbon-cutting ceremony last month. Greenpeace has long made allegations against the company, but released more details in a new report.

"Of course, Virginians need new jobs,'' said Daniel Kessler, a Greenpeace spokesman. "But they also deserve assurance that new jobs will not be put at risk by reckless actions on the other side of the planet. For the sake of our environment and local economies, Mercury's parent company Sinar Mas must change its ways."

Updated Mercury Paper sent us this response:

"Mercury Paper, Inc. is committed to providing needed economic opportunities in the Shenandoah Valley. To date we have created 150 new manufacturing jobs and have been able to do so in an environmentally sound manner. The products we make are sourced from sustainable and legal origin sources and all of our suppliers meet those criteria."

Back to the original post:

In the past six months, several companies, including Nestle, Kimberly-Clark and Kraft, have removed Sinar Mas from their supply chains.

Christie Miller, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, said Mercury Paper operates its Virginia plant in "full and complete compliance with environmental regulations and regard for the overall quality of our natural resources."

Miller also said the company planted trees along the Blue Ridge parkway this year and plans to plant a number of trees on their new Strasburg property.

Officials at Mercury Paper did not immediately return phone calls.

Ben Marchi, state director of Americans for Prosperity, an anti-tax group that supports limited government and free trade, criticized Greenpeace for trying to halt necessary jobs coming to the region.

"I don't think folks in the Shenandoah Valley who can't find a job to support their family really care what Greenpeace thinks," Marchi said. "This plant will provide a paycheck to hardworking Virginians, put food on the table, and provide fiscal prosperity to the community and hundreds of families in the area. The only thing the plant hopefully won't do is bow to Greenpeace's lackluster efforts to shutter any and every plant in the nation."

By Anita Kumar  |  July 16, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McDonnell posts big fundraising numbers, as electeds file mid-year finance reports
Next: McDonnell's former relative speaks out for gay rights

Comments

"This plant will provide a paycheck to hardworking Virginians, put food on the table, and provide fiscal prosperity to the community and hundreds of families in the area...."
All while destroying trees, rainforests, and the atmosphere where the "locals" can't see it.
It's easy to say you meet the environmental regulations of your HQ state...it's much harder to say your overseas business operations (where the materials come from) meet the same regulations.
More to show that McDonnell is not interested in preserving any part of the environment.

Posted by: robjdisc | July 16, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"This plant will provide a paycheck to hardworking Virginians, put food on the table, and provide fiscal prosperity to the community and hundreds of families in the area...."
All while destroying trees, rainforests, and the atmosphere where the "locals" can't see it.
It's easy to say you meet the environmental regulations of your HQ state...it's much harder to say your overseas business operations (where the materials come from) meet the same regulations.
More to show that McDonnell is not interested in preserving any part of the environment.

Posted by: robjdisc | July 16, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Reality is that Sinar Mas has completely changed it's Indonesian operations and has gained numerous key environmental certifications. Greenpeace's latest complaint against Sinar Mas is because of their 'secretly planning to expand' operations in Indonesia. Greenpeace does not register any complaint in their release against any current action or operation by the company, which Kumar omits.

Mercury is in the Valley and providing jobs, something we've been losing too many of. If you google them you'll find there operations and supply chain are environmentally certified. Greenpeace is aware of this, they must then resort to attacking 'secret plans' to keep their battle on the radar with Sinar Mas. 150 people here would argue that's a lot of smoke and no substance to lose their jobs over.

Posted by: Diaperman50 | July 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company