Tuesday, November 10, 2009

'Party of No' votes against strengthening anti-terrorism legislation

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 1:15 PM

After eight years of the Bush administration's fear-mongering, it sometimes seems like the Republican party's main goal is to scare the crap out of Americans. (Anyone remember the fake-ola "death panels"? How about the Muslim Mafia?)

So, why in the world did the House of Representatives vote along party lines last week on the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009 -- "which calls for increased safety standards and regulations for facilities using potentially dangerous chemicals"? You'd think Republicans would be in favor of strengthening a bill with a title like that, but nooooo ...

Wonder if this has anything to do with former Vice President Dick Cheney's hope that terrorists will attack our country while Obama's in the Oval Office?

click to enlarge AntiTerrorism Vote 110609

From U.S. PIRG:

WASHINGTON, June 17 – In testimony filed Tuesday on Capitol Hill, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group urged members of Congress to vote for a new bill which calls for increased safety standards and regulations for facilities using potentially dangerous chemicals.

The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009 (H.R. 2868), currently under review by the House Energy and Commerce and Homeland Security committees, would require the implementation of safer technologies and alternatives by higher risk facilities and would increase government oversight at those plants.

The bill will replace the 2006 Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Act that lacks strong safety protections, restricted the filing of citizen suits and had no provisions for the pursuit of methods that would reduce the impact of possible terrorist attacks. That law also bars the government from requiring the use of safer methods and exempts 2,600 water facilities from regulations.

“Any legislation that Congress considers should replace dangerous toxics with safer alternatives where feasible and set a floor, not a ceiling, for stronger state chemical security laws,” U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate Elizabeth Hitchcock said in testimony filed with the Homeland Security Committee.

“Enacting such a law would protect millions of citizens who reside and work alongside such plants and facilities with the potential to cause death or serious injury,” she added.

Research by the EPA finds that there are over 2,700 facilities where an accident or a purposeful attack would endanger more than 10,000 people, and 100 water treatment plants that threaten the lives of over 100,000 people.

Click here to read the full text of Hitchcock’s testimony.

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