Home | About | Donate

As Trump Fights to Kill Chemical Safety Rule, Workers Injured as Massive Explosion Rocks Texas Chemical Plant


As Trump Fights to Kill Chemical Safety Rule, Workers Injured as Massive Explosion Rocks Texas Chemical Plant

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

While the Trump administration continues its push to stymie and roll back federal regulations by fighting in court to uphold a delay of the Chemical Disaster Rule, hazardous materials crews are continuing a search for a worker presumed dead after an explosion at a Texas chemical plant.


Once again a CD article attributes the degradation of environmental and health and safety conditions to Trump, when attacking environmental, safety and health regulations is a decades-long bipartisan project conducted by Duopoly politicians and regulatory flunkies on behalf of the oligarchy and corporate plutocrats that own them.

I would especially like to remind folks of the hysterical deregulatory atmosphere during the Reagan Era followed not too much later by the Clinton/Gore period of reimagining government (I.e. stripping out regulatory agencies and essentially making compliance self-regulatory and voluntary).

And does anybody remember the Deep Water Horizon disaster of 2010? Who was president then? What was done about it? What about the other 10,000 or so oil platforms and wells (operational and retired) that pollute the Gulf of Mexico?

This kind of story is just stoopid and a distraction from the reality of how to even begin to get to some kind of environmentally sustainable way of living. Shame.


Shame indeed.

This is criminal behavior.

Again, profiting off of people’s suffering.


Hi Tom,

Nothing much to add, you said it so well.

I had a problem like this with a pretty good local organization, the Richmond (CA) Progressive Alliance. They’ve done a lot to transform Richmond from a (Chevron) company town to something more resembling democracy. But the union component sure wouldn’t want to see the damn plant closed down, so we RPA volunteers are expected to enthusiastically canvas door to door campaigning for a cleaner, safer death-camp (oil refinery).

It looks like those of us who understand the scale of this - the urgency of just stopping the pillage - are a lonely minority.


I worked at the Houston Ship Channel as a summer engineer in the seventies. I first had to learn had to the colors of different poisonous gas clouds. An emergency evacuation by means of running occurred about once a week. Every chemical company was out there. Puerto Rico, too. I heard they are exempt to the US chemical laws. All of the chemical companies are out there.
An old engineer in Houston told me that when the cloud cover was good, all of the companies would blast heavily to clear their smokestacks, something evidently not allowed.


I find that extremely unlikely considering the fact the most dangerous chemical gases are colorless…


On so many fronts the public needs right education, as in based on facts and the power to re-imagine a new, better, world.

One way may be, as used effectively by the NAACP, to organize a blitz of letters to the media along with all the other strategies including protests. But the aim is to educate the public that the era of fossil fuel is drawing to a close and if their top priority is jobs they should look no further than a green socialist economy.


There will be no values allowed before profits by this administration,
Not HUMANE, social or environmental.


Environmental Proscription Agency


It might be easier to persuade the white and privileged to care about racism. I have to agree that education is absolutely imperative - but beyond that there’s a democracy problem, here in the US - a particularly fantasy-prone culture.

The truth is that the US could not have become the final empire it is without genocide, slavery, and popular heedlessness. We don’t want no freaking education, not around here.


That’s ok. You don’t have to believe me. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible if I hadn’t been there either.
Phosgene, can’t make it, right? Wrong. You can make it for pesticides, just can’t store it. Mustard gas is yellow. Sulfuric gas is white. Chlorine. Look for low-floating clouds, they said, too… Fluorine gas, hard to make, because it eats through everything. Leaks were common.
They said ours was one of the safer plants in the nation.


I don’t believe you because when you consider the most dangerous gases typically found at refineries and chemical plants, most of them are colorless.
Sulfur dioxide- colorless
Nitrogen oxide- colorless
Most PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)- colorless
Radon- colorless
Phosgene- colorless
Hydrogen Chloride- colorless
Carbon Monoxide- colorless

I find it very odd that a supervisor would spend time teaching you the color of gas clouds, when the most hazardous chemicals you may be exposed to, don’t have colored gas clouds.

Additionally since the 1970s there are a variety of regulations that require filtration and scrubbers within the smokestacks of chemical plants and refineries. While your comment is insightful, the actual relevance to this topic seems a bit off.


Chemicals have more rights than people do. Big pharma, big AMA, big agrochemicals, big alcohol and tobacco, I


Everyday new pharma products advertised slickly with some wacky sounding gibberish name on long tv commercials. Line up guinea pigs.


Glad to hear that things have improved since the 70’s! I still think that they smell bad. Wonder why that is. You know, you can put in rules, but then cut funding on inspection.

That’s why they put it all outside, despite additional corrosion to the pipes from the weather and bad air. It all leaks, in all kinds of ways…I’m sure Trump will continue to enhance and enforce expensive, but necessary environmental control regulations.

We had chlorine and flourine, suluric acid, and some green gas. I’m glad you weren’t there! Wish I hadn’t been!


So I wonder what the purple, pink (greenish too I recall) cloud I saw driving out of El Paso circa early 80’s. was. An early morning sickly colored fog hung in the air out of El Paso as we drove towards Guadalupe Peak for a backpacking trip. I asked my uncle what that strange cloud was and he said industrial pollution blowing in from Juarez.

But hey, if it was full of color, I suppose it was harmless?


Notice how those whose support big oil define “terrorism”?

If you cut open a fence, and turn a valve to temporarily shut down an oil line, you are a terrorist, as one person, striking fear deep into the hearts of every big oil CEO, and you need some prison time to reform your mind.

But if you are a big oil CEO, helping to further fry Mother Earth, barbecuing employees (a Texas delicacy technique) along the way, you’re just an exemplary capitalist defining the American Dream.

Oxford English Dictionary
Terrorist: A person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.


Around the Augusta, Georgia airport, circa 1985, the air smelled really awful. Getting out of the plane one day, some people were asking what the smell was. One businessman said, “Ahhh, that’s the smell of money!”


Many times when people complain about the smell of feedlots (cows) prevalent in the West (in Texas particularly) you will hear the same phrase. A capitalist cliche.


I worked at a landfill, and that same catchy phrase was used all the time.