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Blog Post | April 22, 2021

Delaware Connections Run Deep As DuPont Family's Darla Pomeroy Heads To Treasury

Ethics in GovernmentExecutive BranchFinancial RegulationTreasury Department
Delaware Connections Run Deep As DuPont Family's Darla Pomeroy Heads To Treasury

Darla Pomeroy, who is married to an heir to the DuPont family fortune, was just named Senior Advisor to the Office of Domestic Finance at the US Treasury. This comes as no surprise given Biden’s long-standing Delaware ties to DuPont, a major union-buster and chemical polluter known for its outsized influence in the state. 

The Office of Domestic Finance is a powerful branch of the Treasury Department with broad oversight over financial institutions and markets. It includes the influential “Financial Stability Oversight Council” which has the ability to subject some of the largest financial giants like BlackRock to regulation by designating them “structurally important financial institutions.” The office is also tasked with developing policy ensuring the “safety and soundness” of our financial system. Its mandate is so broad it also houses the Office of Capital Markets which manages housing finance reform crucial to current and prospective homebuyers. Little in Pomeroy’s record shows she has any experience in these fields, however:

Pomeroy Is Married To The Heir And Director Of The Notorious Delaware-Based DuPont Company 

  • DuPont is fiercely anti-union and aggressively opposed efforts of its employees to unionize. In 2019, International Union of Operating Engineers members accused the company of union-busting, saying the “company of intimidation and attempting to interfere with their efforts to unionize.” United Steelworkers members echoed similar concerns, accusing the company of distributing racist anti-union drawings to workers to disparage the union. This is part of a long history of DuPont, which has been “driven by a strong anti-union animus.” 
  • DuPont willfully exposed and killed its workers by exposing them to poisonous toxins through neglected, unsafe working conditions. According to Good Jobs First  DuPont was cited by OSHA for killing an employee in West Virginia after a worker “died after a ruptured hose released a large quantity of phosgene gas. The following year, OSHA cited DuPont for dangerous conditions after a contract welder was killed when sparks set off an explosion in a slurry tank at a plant in Buffalo, New York.” They were fined $273,000 and put on OSHA’s severe violator list in when “a leak of methyl mercaptan at a DuPont plant in LaPorte, Texas caused the death of four workers” in 2014.
  • DuPont Has Paid Over $100 Million In Environmental Fines. According to the corporate Violation Tracker, DuPont has paid at least $112,730,104 in 160 different environmental violations since 2000. 

Pomeroy And DuPont Have Old Relationships With Biden That Go Back Decades

  • According to a Wall Street Journal expose, Biden staffed his first Senate bid with DuPont employees who opened a campaign office on the highway built by and named for the chemical giant” and “celebrated his long-shot 1972 victory in the Gold Ballroom of the Hotel du Pont. […] After winning his upstart bid for senator in 1972, Mr. Biden quickly developed a good relationship with DuPont, meeting with top executives at least twice a year and speaking regularly to gatherings of the company’s rising stars. In 1975, the new senator bought a 10,000 square-foot mansion built and once owned by the du Pont family. He helped DuPont win federal grants and earmarks.”
  • Mother Jones wrote that Biden’s home state of “Delaware was less a democracy than a fiefdom, contorting its laws to meet the demands of its corporate lords. Preeminent among them was the chemical giant DuPont. Nader took readers to Rodney Square, in the heart of Wilmington. There was the ritzy Hotel du Pont, housed in a building owned by DuPont, next to a theater built by DuPont, connected to a bank controlled by the du Pont family, surrounded by law offices and brokerages—all affiliated in some way with what was known simply as “The Company.” The du Ponts owned the state’s two largest newspapers and employed a tenth of the state legislature. […] Over the next two decades, as Biden rose through the ranks of the Democratic Party, the state’s center of gravity began to shift from the world of chemicals to the big business of other people’s business—banking, accounting, law, and telemarketing. But if the industry had changed, the ethos remained: Delaware was the Company State. It owed its prosperity to its willingness to give corporations what they wanted.”
  • Biden tapped Michael McCaine, a DuPont consultant, to lead its EPA transition team while DuPont faced widespread criticism for its environmental pollution. Noted environmental activist Erin Brockovich wrote “Michael McCabe, a former employee of Biden and a former deputy Environmental Protection Agency administrator, later jumped ship to work as a consultant on communication strategy for DuPont during a time when the chemical company was looking to fight regulations of their star chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) also known as C8.”

Pomeroy Claimed To  Work For 12 Years As A “Member & Manager” Of An Investment Firm With Little Public Information About Its Operations

  • According to her LinkedIn, she has been the “Member & Manager” to the opaque Pomeroy Investments from 2008-2020. The firm does not appear to have a website, nor does Pomeroy disclose the scope or content of her work at the firm or its investments.
  • Pomeroy directly contributed to monopolization in the telecommunications industry as co-owner of Edge Wireless. As senior-vice president, Reuters wrote she “negotiated its successful sale to AT&T.”

Little of Pomeroy’s scant public record displays her familiarity with financial regulatory policy. What it reveals instead is a history of a powerful corporation highly influential in Delaware placing a close ally in the administration.

Photo Credit: Secondarywaltz, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Ethics in GovernmentExecutive BranchFinancial RegulationTreasury Department

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