Something That CAN Get Done in an Election Year
by John Deans
Have you heard that there is an election coming up? I guess people think its pretty important since its ALL anyone talks about, right? Well, except for Hurricane Isaac, the start of the NFL preseason, Red Sox dumping four players (ok, Im from New England, so that may just be my radar), hundreds being killed in Syria, and the Obama administration raising fuel economy standards. Wait, what was that last one? The Obama administration did something in August of an election year? I thought that wasnt possible, I thought NOTHING got done in an election year? Hm, I feel a bit like the GPS in my friends car the other day: recalculating The fact is, new policies DO happen in an election year, and I was incredibly heartened to see that Im not the only one who thinks so. Today, in the New York Times, Governor Christine Todd Whitman penned an articulate call to the Environmental Protection Agency to use its existing authority to prevent chemical disasters. The quote that grabbed me: The conventional wisdom in an election year is that nothing will get done until after the election. I believe, however, that the current administration, which is on record supporting these disaster prevention policies in the context of security legislation, must not wait any longer. Reducing the vulnerability of these facilities to terrorism is not about politics its about public safety. I urge you all to have a read of Ms. Whitmans clear assessment of the EPAs authority, and more importantly its responsibility to use Clean Air Act authority to prevent chemical disasters. Communities across the United States living with the threats posed by dangerous chemical facilities can't afford to wait for the political circus to be over, they deserve to live in safe communities now.