Friday, January 28, 2005
Whitman: GOP Foiled Security Efforts
By Alexander Lane
Friday 28 January 2005
Book says legislators helped lobbyists defeat rules for chemical plants.
Industry lobbyists worked with key Republican lawmakers to sabotage new security regulations for chemical plants after the 9/11 attacks, Christie Whitman alleges in her new book.
Many chemical plants, including dozens in New Jersey, could release toxic clouds that could kill tens or even hundreds of thousands of people in the case of an attack or a major malfunction. Their security became a prime concern of experts after 9/11, but proposed regulations requiring safety measures failed to pass in Congress.
In her new book, "It's My Party Too," former New Jersey Gov. Whitman, who was head of the Environmental Protection Agency as the debate raged in Congress and the Bush administration -- placed the blame squarely at the feet of chemical-industry lobbyists and congressional Republicans.
Whitman wrote that she and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge crafted rules requiring the 15,000 most high-risk plants to "take reasonable steps to address those vulnerabilities, and report to the EPA that they had complied."
"Although both Tom and I agreed such legislation was necessary, strong congressional opposition, led by some Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to giving EPA even this modest additional statutory authority made it difficult to secure administration support," Whitman wrote, singling out Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) for blame.
She said she grew so frustrated she formally asked the White House to "relieve EPA of its lead responsibility for reducing the vulnerability of the chemical sector to attack."
"The American Chemistry Council (a chemical-industry lobbying group) fought hard against my efforts," Whitman wrote. "I sometimes wonder whether those companies spend more money trying to defeat new regulations than they would by simply complying with them."
There are still no federal regulations requiring chemical facilities to gird against attack.
"For instance, do you realize that as I speak a hundred
thousand lunatics of our species, wearing helmets, are busy killing and being
killed by a hundred thousand other animals in turbans, and that everywhere on
Earth this is how we have carried on since time immemorial?” -Voltaire
and Covert Propaganda
Meanwhile, the White House (R) has admitted paying numerous journalists to
dispense "covert propaganda" to the public.
Third Columnist Caught with Hand in Bush Till :
I remember Bill Maher, Whoopee Goldberg, Phil Donahue and several other commentators
and news personalities being fired for not "supporting the Whaite House agenda" last year.
Now we learn that the "reporeters" remaining were being paid to say what the rich guys wanted them to.
"Torture is OK, if we do it."
"oops, invaded the wrong country, but it is OK to bomb them anyway."