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GannettUSA Today

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tough talk on chemical plants

Chemical plants are particularly vulnerable to causing widespread devastation if targeted by terrorists. So you'd think that allowing states to impose the strictest rules possible for chemical plant security would be a no-brainer in the post-9/11 world. Not for the Bush administration and congressional representatives who are far too close to the chemical industry, which claims its scientists know best and these rules are too expensive to follow. And this being Washington, let's not forget the chemical companies' contributions to political campaigns.

It's ironic that an administration that generally wants less federal government intrusion is trying to pre-empt states such as New Jersey from imposing stronger rules on chemical plant safety than the feds are willing to make. Advocates of these tougher measures have inserted a ban on such pre-emption into the spending bill to support our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. A vote on that bill is scheduled today, but the president promises to veto it because it also sets a deadline for troop withdrawal from Iraq. Read our editorial on the issue today at http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070322/OPINION/703220419/1029.

How far to go in ensuring chemical plant safety is too important to be part of an unrelated spending bill. The subject deserves its own law, fully vetted in Congress. Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., has introduced a bill that would block pre-emption. Backers of states' rights on this issue should take advantage of the present renewed focus to get it done at last.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another APP editorial that calls for bigger government and more money. There's a shocker. (not!)

5:22 PM, March 22, 2007  
Blogger Ray said...

anonymous wrote:
"Another APP editorial that calls for bigger government and more money. There's a shocker. (not!)"

Let me see if I understand this. You're saying that the solution to the terrorist threat is less government? Osama? Is that you?

Not only is that absurd but the post was about state's rights and home rule which the Republicans claim they believe in. Instead of whining about bigger government, why don't you complain about the Bush administration's lack of interest in real homeland security? Obviously, national security shouldn't be left in the hands of the Republicans whose real interest is making money for their cronies.

9:49 PM, March 22, 2007  

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