Friday, September 1, 2017

Let Them Breathe Organic Peroxides

Oh, great, that ongoing explosion freedom pop crisis at the Crosby, Texas organic peroxides plant just got worse, with at least two trailers of peroxides having caught fire. The man-made disaster which is accompanying the natural disaster that was Hurricane Harvey is largely due to Republican deregulation- the Texas GOP played an instrumental role in blocking regulations that should have made an 'incident' less likely. Of course, this is the same GOP which brought us the infamous West, Texas chemical plant fire... can you just feel the lifting of burdensome regulations? Feels like a vibration underfoot, and a burning in the sinuses, trachea, and lungs.

The real kicker is the press conference with Richard Rennard an Arkema executive who tells the media that 'toxicity is a relative thing'. Well, duh, the aphorism 'the dose makes the poison' is centuries old... I get that, after all, I eat pokeweed. The problem is that the Arkema representatives aren't being upfront about the composition of the 'noxious' smoke, so the 'relative toxicity' of it will have to be determined by the authorities, something which doesn't seem to appeal to Texas' elected officials.

This is way beyond the 'let them eat cake' attitude, it basically boils down to 'let them breathe poison'. Tragically, I don't think any heads will roll (figuratively) for this disaster, and I foresee yet another douchebag 'Gulf region' CEO whining on television about wanting his life back.


jim said...

Thus the Derp Reich & its sundry generic hordes of henchvölk literally reap the whirlwind.

All the doubling down isn't spunky or disciplined - it's because they have no other ideas ... & they despise anything that might lead to progress - which includes new ideas.

New ideas are my hashish.

mikey said...

Meh. I think this is hyperbole. Those are just the kind of facilities that react badly to disasters like floods and earthquakes. It's really just a tiny Fukushima, a chemical storage/manufacturing facility flooded and completely out of reach of any active mitigation strategy. I agree that regulations are important, and rolling them back is nothing but mindless greed, but when you get a disaster of this magnitude it just doesn't matter. This plant - and a whole bunch of refineries - was always going to leak large amounts of toxic chemicals into the infrastructure. It would have happened the same way under Obama.

The important question this event poses has nothing to do with regulation - it has to do with building this kind of facility on the gulf coast in the face of greatly enhanced hurricane risk due to warming waters. Any major city that gets hit with a modern, violent storm like Harvey is going to have a number of these secondary disasters, because they can't do anything but evacuate and let the rising waters have their way...