Something That Can Bring Us All Together
by John Deans
It is certainly not every day a republican former Governor of New Jersey and Administrator of the EPA, labor unions, environmental justice advocates, environmentalists, and first responders stand together with the same solution to a national problem. In a national press conference today Greenpeace joined other representatives of this coalition andGovernor Christine Todd Whitman to call on the Obama Administration to use existing Clean Air Actauthority to protectcommunities from chemical disasters. Ten years ago the US was scrambling to secure vulnerabilities following the attacks of 9/11. The Environmental Protection Agency was tasked with securing the nations chemical facilities. Under Governor Whitmans leadership they designed a program that would remove potential terrorist targets by eliminating the potential for disaster altogether.
The planned roll-out was 10 years ago this week. We could be talking today about the millions of people no longer at risk from the threat of a poison gas disaster, but when the EPA proposed this plan it was squashed by the Bush Administration cronies who were listening to the likes of the American Petroleum Institute and BP.The good news is that the EPA still possesses the authority to create such a program, and in the face of cement-footed Congress, its time Obama fulfilled a campaign pledge and implemented a program that will prioritize community safety and security instead of industrys desire to keep playing their game of disaster roulette. As Governor Whitman stated today we cannot continue to let politics trump policy, we have got to draw the line at some point...peoples lives are at stake. Listen to the press conference Take Action!