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Distribute the Costs of Pollution Cleanup

July 10, 2002

The Times editorializes in favor of again taxing corporations--instead of society at large--for the remaining cleanup of Superfund sites ("Bring Back Superfund Tax," editorial, July 2). While the National Assn. of Manufacturers carries no water for polluters, we do stick up for companies that, despite doing the right thing again and again, are maligned by ill-informed media critics and politicians goaded by environmental groups. Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-Calif.) proposed renewal of corporate Superfund taxes would squeeze more than a billion dollars a year from our already beleaguered industrial sector--including general manufacturers. Where do the senator and The Times think this money will ultimately come from?

American businesses have spent tens of billions of dollars cleaning up Superfund sites since the 1980s and will continue to do so. But because eager consumers, as well as producers, share in creating pollution, it's not unreasonable to suggest at this point that costs for further pollution reductions be shared by all who will benefit. Singling out our industrial sector for a massive tax increase just as it's struggling to recover from recession and restore 1.6 million lost jobs would do significant harm to our economy and capacity to make future environmental improvements.

Monica McGuire

Senior Director, Tax Policy

National Assn. of Manufacturers

Washington

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