Wednesday, July 26, 2006

BushCo Puts Profits Above Safety Of U.S. Civilians

Security and Chemical Plants - New York Times:
Nearly five years after Sept. 11, Congress has still not passed a law reducing the risk of mass casualties from an attack on a chemical plant. A bill has been slowly working its way through the Senate and the House, but the chemical industry is committed to making it so weak that it could actually make plants less safe. The House Homeland Security Committee is expected to vote tomorrow on two amendments that are important to making this a real chemical plant security bill.

The first amendment would require some high-risk chemical plants to replace the most dangerous chemicals with safer alternatives. It is a relatively mild proposal, since it does not cover all plants, and it gives the plants a large role in the decision about which safer technologies they should adopt. But the industry is fighting for its right to use whatever chemicals it deems best, or most profitable, no matter how much risk that poses to people who live, work and attend school nearby.

A second critical amendment would make clear that states have the right to regulate chemical plant safety more strictly than the federal government. The chemical industry wants the federal bill to expressly pre-empt, or invalidate, state safety rules. It says it wants a single national standard to avoid “confusion.” But what the industry really wants is a weak national standard that prevents states from taking a more serious approach to the terrorist threat.

Tomorrow’s votes will likely be decided by a few moderate Republicans, including Christopher Shays and Rob Simmons of Connecticut, and Curt Weldon and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. They could decide whether this important homeland security bill actually makes the nation more secure.
This is just more of the same from BushCo and friends. I don't usually repost an entire article, but this one bears repeating and stands as a call to action. If any of the Reps mentioned above are yours, please get on the horn to them and demand that they do the right thing for establishing real security here at home.

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