Eight years after the worst terrorist attack on American soil in history, our most vulnerable targets remain at risk. Simple, inexpensive, and common sense changes, like substituting or reducing the amount of lethal gases stored on-site, would protect millions of people from harm.This year, the House Committee on Homeland Security agreed to a bill (H.R. 2968) on June 23rd, by a vote of 18 to 11, with all Republicans voting in opposition. The bill will next be taken up by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.Over 100 million Americans are at risk from a terrorist attack or accident at a high risk chemical plant.
As Senators, Barack Obama and Joe Biden led the fight to make chemical plants safe from accidents and terrorists. Their legislation would have made the highest risk plants safe by using "inherently safer technologies" (IST), or safer chemicals.
As candidates for President, Senators Obama and Biden were both champions of this legislation. Read President Obama and Vice President Biden's quotes on chemical security.
So far, President Obama and Vice-President Biden have been silent on pending legislation in Congress.
But as Obama warned in the Senate, "We cannot allow chemical industry lobbyists to dictate the terms of this debate."
Here's a clip of Obama and Biden at June 21, 2006 Senate hearing:
Watch the full, uncut video clips of the June 21, 2006 Senate hearing:
Then Senator Obama
Then Senator Biden
Chemical Facilities that put 10,000 or more people at risk.
A coalition of more than 50 chemical worker unions, public health groups, environmental groups (including Greenpeace), and government reform groups signed onto a letter to Congress urging them to pass a bill similar to H.R. 5577.
Read the Coalition's Coalition letter to the House of Reps.
Read the Coalition's letter to the Senate
Editorials on the Issue:
- Roll Call Op Ed by Reps. Thompson, Waxman, Jackson Lee and Markey (6/25/2009) Read article.
- New York Times Editorials on Chemical Plant Security (5/17/2009) Read article (08/04/2009) Read article
Greenpeace testimony about chemical security submitted to the Committee on Homeland Security. Read the testimony