Incredible! Townfolk where Texas plant explosion killed 14 not concerned about lax regulations!
There must be something in the water that makes some Texans so strange.
It’s been nearly a month since a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, exploded [above], killing at least 14 people, and injuring more than 200 others, while leveling a significant part of the small town. It’s tempting to think, after a disaster of this magnitude, that the community and their officials would start asking some important questions about prevention and public safety.
And it’d be quite a list. There could, for example, be a conversation about the fact that the plant had no alarms, automatic shutoff system or firewall. There could also be a discussion about zoning laws that allowed a highly-explosive plant to be built across the street from two schools and a nursing home. It might also be time for a chat about liability insurance and environmental safeguards.
But none of these conversations is likely to happen.
This antipathy toward regulations is shared by many residents here. Politicians and economists credit the stance with helping attract jobs and investment to Texas, which has one of the fastest-growing economies in the country, and with winning the state a year-after-year ranking as the nation’s most business friendly.
Even in West, last month’s devastating blast did little to shake local skepticism of government regulations. Tommy Muska, the mayor, echoed Governor Perry in the view that tougher zoning or fire safety rules would not have saved his town. “Monday morning quarterbacking,” he said.