When asked at a press conference Friday if the state should be doing more to regulate and properly zone industrial facilities, Governor Rick Perry said he’d look into it.
“Listen, if there’s a better way to do this, we want to know about it,” Perry told reporters. “If there’s a better way to deal with these events, we want to have that discussion, whatever that might be.”
Or, maybe not:
Gov. Rick Perry said Monday that spending more state money on inspections would not have prevented the deadly explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant that was last investigated by Texas environmental regulators in 2006.And to blow shit up, like half a small Texas town. Besides, it wasn't the state's fault!
Perry told The Associated Press that he remains comfortable with the state's level of oversight following last week's massive blast in the rural farming town of West that killed 14 people and injured 200. Federal and state investigators say they have yet to identify the cause of the explosion.
Perry suggested that the majority of Texas residents agree with him.
"(People) through their elected officials clearly send the message of their comfort with the amount of oversight," Perry said Monday.
Perry was in Illinois on Monday on a trip intended to lure companies to relocate to Texas. Among his selling points: Texas' low regulatory climate that Perry says unburdens businesses and allows companies to create more jobs and wealth.
Bryan Shaw, chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, said Monday he did not believe that more environmental regulations would have prevented the blast.It was probably the ammonium nitrate the plant didn't tell the Dept. of Homeland Security was stored there. So, see? No harm, no foul! Or, at least, not a TCEQ problem! Hey, presto!
Shaw told AP that he believes the final investigation will show that anhydrous ammonia, which his agency regulates and the plant stored, was not responsible for the explosion.
Texas Department of State Health Services knew about the ammonium nitrate, though. And how much was there? 270 tons of it. How much did Timothy McVeigh use to blow up the Murrah Building? 4800 pounds. See? Nothing to see here! Move along!
Just don't trip over the dead Texas workers:
Texas leads the nation in workplace fatalities, with 433 deaths in 2011. That’s nearly a hundred more than California, which has six million more people in its workforce.Well, if you're gonna make an omelet, you gotta break a few eggs, amirite?
Now, the more perceptive among you might wonder why, on Monday, Gov. Goodhair is in Illinois trying to drum up bidness for Texas while West, Texas is still smoking ruins. The more informed among you will realize the Texas Lege is in session, an event that only happens for six months every two years. So why isn't the Governor and Great White Hope of the GOP in Austin, where you'd think he belongs? Because, despite Paul Burka, the Governor of Texas is still the most useless and powerless position in Texas government. And Rick Perry doesn't really get to decide how much regulation is imposed on fertilizer plant owners who store so much potential explosives so close to 3000 people. The Governor just appoints people to run state agencies who think their first priority is to disavow any oversight responsibility for industrial accidents like this.
Right now, this is the guy to pay attention to:
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said last week the Texas Legislature would support West in the aftermath of the explosion, but the region’s representatives said they are waiting for more answers before submitting legislation.And if you think about it, Gov. Perry peddling the good bidness climate of Texas as West smolders, is kind of like Gov. Christie going out of state to promote the advantages of the Jersey shore, right after Hurricane Sandy blew inland.
A bit tone-deaf, if you know what I mean.
Besides,as the redoubtable Mr. Shaw, head of TCEQ, said:
“There are hundreds of these facilities, and fortunately they don’t explode very often,” said Shaw.
Perspective, people! Perspective!