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The nation was horrified to see the disastrous fire and explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant near Waco that happened yesterday.

Going to work in Texas is more dangerous than it is in any other state in the nation. Last month Texas Governor Rick Perry expressed his satisfaction with Texas' abysmal record in workplace safety during a news conference.  

Perry: Texas worker deaths unrelated to regulation

In a press conference today about his trip to lure California businesses to Texas, Gov. Rick Perry boasted of statistics demonstrating Texas’ superior job climate, but bristled when a California reporter brought up a less flattering ranking: Texas’ top position among all states for worker deaths and injuries.

After Perry touted Texas’ low tax and low regulatory burden on businesses, an Orange County Register  reporter mentioned Texas’ poor record of worker safety, asking, “Can you speak to safety in your lower-regulation state?”

“I don’t think it has anything to do with the regulation side,” Perry said. “You all in California are not very knowledgeable about the energy industry” which, he said, “is a fairly dangerous workplace’ compared to other industries.  He argued that worker injuries and deaths would not be reduced by better safety regulations: “It’s not because of lack of regulations.”

Yes it is because of lack of regulations Governor!

And for Governor Perry's information California has a large and long standing oil industry.

This morning Perry is expressing his concern for the victims. Will Perry be concerned enough to change his tune on lax workplace safety in Texas following this disaster? I'm not betting on it. Big Oil owns the Texas GOP lock stock and barrel.  

If you live in Texas and have seen examples of hazards in your workplace say something.

Texas Watch Workplace Safety

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  and is Rick gonna take FEMA help? (10+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 GOP Rep. Steve Stockman (TX):"If babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted"

    by annieli on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 12:37:17 PM PDT

  •  Not if you want to keep your job.... (14+ / 0-)

    "If you live in Texas and have seen examples of hazards in your workplace say something."

    Proud to be part of the 21st Century Democratic Majority Party of the 3M's.. Multiracial,Multigender and MiddleClass

    by LOrion on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 12:43:45 PM PDT

  •  Texans, please get rid of this moron! (12+ / 0-)

    Or moran.

    "For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it." - President Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013.

    by surfermom on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 12:49:31 PM PDT

  •  Mr. Perry is visiting Illinois next week... (11+ / 0-)

    ...to woo some more companies to his mortician's paradise.

    I I ran a successful company, I'd rather stay here, than move lock, stock and barrel to Texas, and possibly develop such a cavlier mindset. Such a mindset may end more than one company.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 12:55:49 PM PDT

  •  Rick has been on the radio in Chicago... (9+ / 0-)

    ...advertising for a big push to get business to move from Illinois to Texas. The radio spot says its because of Illinois 'unfriendly climate' for business. Yea, like actually inspecting plants... He's supposed to come to Chicago next week to hold a carrot for anyone wanting to move. I wonder if anyone will ask him if they can move their fertilizer plant to Texas since there is a need.

    •  Only if they can build it next to the... (6+ / 0-)

      Governor's Mansion. But then it still might not be safe because the Gov likes to carry a laser-sighted handgun when he jogs in case he runs across any varmints (which may or may not include union workers).

      But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, ... there are few die well that die in a battle; ... Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; — Shakespeare, ‘Henry V’

      by dewtx on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:12:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And rich businessmen give millions to Perry... (7+ / 0-)

    to keep it that way (case in point, recently deceased swiftboat financier Bob Perry with more details on his political contributions here). The state motto of Texas could be "Pecuniam Super Populum" ("Money Over People").

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, ... there are few die well that die in a battle; ... Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; — Shakespeare, ‘Henry V’

    by dewtx on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:02:31 PM PDT

  •  I don't know if more regulations are needed. (6+ / 0-)

    By the information posted here on DKos (and since it's on the Internet I know it's true) it would take more than a hundred years at the current rate of inspections to inspect every fertilizer factory in Texas and even then the inspections might not really achieve any good.  So maybe the regulations are in place, but if there's nobody to check and enforce the regulations, something the Texas legislature and Perry are also responsible for, having regulations won't do anyone any good.

    I read on this site that this exact plant had certified that there would be no danger from a leak and even a fire would be non-threatening to anyone.  But of course nobody could have foreseen this disaster, right/

    •   nobody could have foreseen? (9+ / 0-)

      Sounds familiar.  Where have  I heard that before?

      Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

      by DRo on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:12:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not the worst fertilizer explosion in Texas either (8+ / 0-)

        Not by a long shot.

        Texas City Disaster killed at least 581 people.

        "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

        by Lefty Coaster on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:25:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What really irks me (7+ / 0-)

          is that there has been no inspection in over six years.

          Darn!!

          I have to have my car inspected in order to have a license plate renewed.  Why can't businesses be held to inspections for renewals in a similar manner?

          (I know the answer to that.  Wouldn't want to annoy a political contributor, would you?)

          Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

          by DRo on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:32:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's inexcusable (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DRo, ColoTim

            "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

            by Lefty Coaster on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:34:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's not just Texas (9+ / 0-)

            No environmental agencies - federal or state - have the resources to inspect all facilities under their jurisdiction. Thus, the only ones that seem to get are attentions are the most egregious based on releases, incidents, fatalities, and neighborhood complaints. Even in this day and age, there are manufacturing facilities operating without the requisite permits.

            A former colleague of mine left the private sector to take a job at a state environmental agency that discovered some significant violations at a manufacturing plant that was a local facility of a national company.

            For the hearing where the fines were to be determined, my colleague told the local plant manager to be sure that the corporate Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) person be present. He asked this person whether there was an EHS person at this plant. Nope. If there were such a person, he then asked, what would you have paid them. About $75K a year was the response.

            Since the violations had been going on for about three years, the fine was assessed at 3 x $75,000 = $225,000.

            Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

            by cassandracarolina on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:56:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Our insurance company inspects us... (6+ / 0-)

              and we have ISO 14000 audits yearly.  

              Make companies get ISO certified at their own cost because we do not want our tax dollars going to these corporate welfare takers anymore do we?

              OSHA is actually capable of being self sustaining if they would allow for adaquate fines for violations.

              Isn't that why they say we no longer need unions?  Because we have OSHA to take care of safety now days?

              Republicans continuing to use circular logic to promote Republicans continuing to use circular logic to promote Republicans continuing to use circular logic to promote...

              "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

              by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 02:21:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is evidence that companies that (0+ / 0-)

                take care of their employees and the environment can be financially competitive. Without regulatory drivers, we have to rely on the marketplace to incentivize best practices. One source of pressure to meet and exceed environmental, health, and safety requirements comes through the supply chain. Some firms will not purchase products or service from companies with a bad track record. Some require a lot more from their suppliers. The GOP should love this, because it's the free market at work.

                Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

                by cassandracarolina on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 03:16:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Absolutely! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cassandracarolina

                  That is the concept behind ISO 14000.

                  Customers require suppliers to be certified so that they can be certified for their customers.  It's a great idea in theory.

                  Unfortunately, since the auditors are paid for by the companies being audited, the incentive is to make sure they pass as long as the violations are not completely egregious.  It would help if the auditing companies shared some of the liabilities and the cost was paid to a neutral distributer (so to speak) that contracted the certified auditors randomly.

                  "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                  by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 03:23:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Absolutely! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cassandracarolina

                  That is the concept behind ISO 14000.

                  Customers require suppliers to be certified so that they can be certified for their customers.  It's a great idea in theory.

                  Unfortunately, since the auditors are paid for by the companies being audited, the incentive is to make sure they pass as long as the violations are not completely egregious.  It would help if the auditing companies shared some of the liabilities and the cost was paid to a neutral distributer (so to speak) that contracted the certified auditors randomly.

                  "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                  by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 03:24:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  It's regulations (5+ / 0-)

    it's enforcement and it's unions. Those three protect workers.

  •  Reublished to TexKos (6+ / 0-)

    where we're well aware of our Lone Star State's abysmal records on worker safety, environmental protection, and business accountability shortcomings.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:15:38 PM PDT

  •  pshaw, energy, schmenergy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye Nut Schell

    Like California knows anything about money or something.  

    HOw the hell do dumbshits like Perry get elected?  

    I know that there are some idiots in TX, but I knew quite a few people and they were good folks.  

    Streichholzschächtelchen

    by otto on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:35:26 PM PDT

  •  Lame comment - which is utter nonsense: (3+ / 0-)

    Texas governor Rick Perry just gave a briefing on the explosions.

    "Last night’s disaster was truly a nightmare scenario but we are blessed in Texas to have the best emergency response teams in the nation,” Perry said.

    “It is unfortunate for us that we face both natural and manmade disasters all too often in this state.”

    Perry said he is "not comfortable" saying how many people died in the explosions until families are notified.

    “I don’t know how that community is going to be impacted by the amount of individuals who may or may not lose their job because of that company’s explosion.”

    This was posted on Guardian, UK
    •  matter of fact, we do. Tx-TF1 & Tx-TF2 are (0+ / 0-)

      the most-deployed SAR teams in the USA.
      TEEX does training and responses for the whole state, and neighboring ones.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:10:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  TCEQ News Release on West Incident (6+ / 0-)
    News Release
    Information from the TCEQ on West incident
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Contact: Terry Clawson
    Phone: 512-239-0046
    Pager: 512-6570738

    TCEQ staff members are involved in two aspects of this disaster.

    1) TCEQ first arrived on-site at 9:37 p.m., Wednesday evening. The TCEQ Mobile Command Post arrived at 4:00 a.m., Thursday morning and is located a ½ mile from the blast site in West. It was up and running at 5:00 a.m. We are working under the incident command and are the lead for coordinating state assets to conduct air monitoring, plume modeling, and assessing all environmental concerns. Environmental assessments are underway.

    2) To address immediate safety concerns, 12 Area RAE monitors have been set up around perimeter to monitor the air at distances ranging from a half-mile to a quarter-mile. At first light an entry team of TCEQ Emergency Response Contractors, 6th Civil Support Team, and EPA Contractors began to characterize the site to determine current facility emissions within the exclusion zone. TCEQ is actively monitoring air quality to assess any immediate health effects or threats.

    At TCEQ headquarters in Austin, staff have compiled information about the company’s permits and compliance history (go to: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/...).

    AIR PERMIT AUTHORIZATIONS:

    There are two air permit authorizations:

    a. Permit #79803 for two 12,000-gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tanks; and

    b. Permit #80404 for the material loading and storage operations of dry fertilizer materials.

    The first air permit was issued on December 12, 2006 after technical review and with no comments received following an opportunity for public comment and contested case hearing.

    The second permit was issued on March 15, 2007 after technical review and with no comments received following an opportunity for public comment and contested case hearing.

    West Fertilizer Co. was originally constructed in 1962 prior to state and federal requirements to obtain authorization for emission of air contaminants. As a result, this facility was ‘grandfathered’ until state law required grandfathered facilities to obtain authorization, in this instance, September 1, 2004. Following a 2006 citizen complaint, the TCEQ investigated and issued a notice of violation.
    In addition, to all appropriate rules and regulations of the agency, the facility operates under general and special permit conditions and other technical requirements.

    More specifically, the applications were reviewed for protectiveness to ensure that emissions from normal, day to day operations would not have impacts off property. For the anhydrous ammonia application this included air dispersion screen modeling as well as special conditions in the permit to mitigate potential releases of ammonia.

    While this permit contains requirements that reduce the risk of an ammonia release, the TCEQ does not authorize upsets or emission events.

    INVESTIGATIONS:

    This facility has been subject to routine oversight and complaint driven investigations:

    a. Investigation No. 10077 (Incident No. 6055): Dust complaint investigation conducted September 18, 2002 to October 3, 2002 – no nuisance conditions noted.

    b. Investigation No. 483529 (Incident No. 76859): Odor complaint investigation conducted June 20, 2006 - The TCEQ observed the facility had lost their grandfather permitting status and were required to obtain authorization. Per state law, grandfathered facilities in this instance were required to file a permit application by September 1, 2004. Notice of Violation issued on June 21, 2006 for operating without authorization and subsequently resolved on December 21, 2006 following submission of air permit application with TCEQ. (See Investigation No. 534828 below)

    c. Investigation No. 513398: Site review investigation conducted on September 20, 2006 - no concerns noted.

    d. Investigation No. 518224: Consistent with agency practice, TCEQ conducted an investigation and provided comment on draft permit provisions on November 2, 2006 - no additional changes made to draft permit. Permit No. 79803 was issued on December 12, 2006 after a technical review and an opportunity for public comment period and contested case hearing.

    e. Investigation No. 534828: Follow up investigation reviewing compliance documentation conducted on December 20, 2006, regarding violation documented from Investigation No. 483529 - violation resolved by obtaining needed permits listed above.

    f. Investigation No. 536904: Consistent with agency practice, TCEQ conducted a site investigation re: draft permit provisions on January 16, 2007.

    g. Investigation No. 542417: Consistent with agency practice, TCEQ conducted a file review re: draft permit provisions on February 28, 2007 - no additional changes made to draft permit. Permit No. 80404 was issued on March 15, 2007 after a technical review and an opportunity for public comment period and contested case hearing.

    TCEQ has not received any complaints regarding this facility since those documented above.

    TCEQ is cooperating with other state, federal, and local authorities during emergency response as well as with subsequent investigations.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:49:01 PM PDT

  •  Shows how willfully ignorant Perry is (5+ / 0-)
    “You all in California are not very knowledgeable about the energy industry”
     Yeah, CA only has several major oil refineries in L.A. and Bay Area, oil & gas wells and geothermal sites up and down the state, not to mention at least two major wind farms and huge solar power plants.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 02:59:18 PM PDT

  •  tip rec & repub to Labor group (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, dewtx

    This is our Texas non-union, regulation-free work environment.

    We go to work to make a living, not to die.

    WE NEVER FORGET For March: Francis Estep, UMWA Martyr

    by JayRaye on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 05:04:55 PM PDT

  •  The problem is even bigger - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, dewtx

    the nasty working conditions and the lax controls are killing TX residents.  If you look into cancer rates in TX - particularly in Harris County (Houston), you'll notice they're exceptionally high.  The workers aren't the only ones at risk, the residents are too.  So much for that nirvana folks think TX is.

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