For Immediate Release
Jan. 27, 2003
Contact: Mary Boyle
Despite terrorism threat, chemical industry succeeds
in blocking federal security regulations
Despite serious concerns that U.S. chemical plants
could be targets for terrorists, the chemical industry
has successfully blocked legislation that would
mandate more stringent security rules for chemical
manufacturers and others. Helping the industry in its
fight against this legislation was its long history of
political giving and lobbying – more than $80 million
spent since 1995, according to a new report by the
Common Cause Education Fund.
“Big campaign contributions seemed to have trumped the
compelling need for public safety,” said Don Simon,
acting president of Common Cause. “It’s incredible
that security for plants that store and produce deadly
chemicals remains solely in the hands of the chemical
industry, without strong and comprehensive federal
Following the September 11 attacks, the Environmental
Protection Agency warned that 123 chemical plants
across the country each contained enough toxic
chemicals to kill or injure 1 million people, if the
facility were attacked by terrorists, and that another
750 facilities could each threaten more than 100,000
Sen. John Corzine (D-N.J) introduced legislation aimed
at making more secure chemical sites nationwide. A
Senate committee unanimously approved his bill before
the main trade group of the chemical industry, the
American Chemistry Council (ACC), swung into action to
block it. Fearing that the Corzine legislation could
mean costly changes for the industry, the ACC
successfully lobbied GOP Senate leaders to keep the
bill from a vote on the floor.
To this day, neither Congress, nor the White House,
nor any federal agency has been successful in closing
this huge hole in homeland security.
The Common Cause Educational Fund has taken a close
look at the path of the Corzine bill, and tracked the
political contributions made by the ACC and its
members, including chemical giants and major oil
companies. Common Cause has found:
- During the summer of 2002, when the industry was
actively fighting the Corzine bill, ACC members gave
more than $1 million in political contributions, most
of it to Republicans.
- Eight senators who were critical of the Corzine bill
have received more than $850,000 from the ACC and its
- Fred Webber, who headed the ACC until recently, was
one of President Bush’s “pioneers” who raised at least
$100,000 for Bush’s presidential run in 2000.
Click here to download a copy of Chemical Reaction: Despite Terrorism Threat, Chemical Industry Succeeds in Blocking Federal Security Regulations. (123K PDF format)
Worst Case Scenarios: Terrorism & Industrial Chemicals
Worst case scenario and risk management plan background
The Ruse of Terrorism and our Right-To-Know, Part I
Environmental Patriot Act? Terrorism, Patriotism, and Environmental Law.
Five Past Midnight in Bhopal by Dominique Lapierre, Javier Moro - Recounts the 1984 Union Carbide chemical disaster.
When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution by Devra Lee Davis.
Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution by Gerald E. Markowitz, David Rosner. Reviews.
Fatal Deception: The Untold Story of Asbestos - Why It Is Still Legal and Still Killing Us by Michael Bowker.
Trust Us, We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles With Your Future by Sheldon Rampton, John Stauber.
Toxic Deception: How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law and Endangers Your Health by Dan Fagin and Marianne Lavelle.
<-- Return To TerrorSpeak
<-- Return To Right-To-Know or Left-To-Wonder?
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