SHARE
Here’s hoping this isn’t the ‘before’ picture

So what’s the latest hell-horror that might be inflicted on the good people of coastal Texas? The answer comes straight from everyone’s favorite line in The Graduate: PLASTICS. OK, maybe not everyone’s favorite line, but “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me” really doesn’t have anything to do with a possible explosion at a chemical plant, now does it? The plant, owned by Arkema and located in Crosby, Texas, about 25 miles northeast of Houston, manufactures organic peroxides, compounds used in making plastics and rubber, and some of those chemicals need to be kept refrigerated, or they might catch fire or explode.

Funny thing about keeping chemicals refrigerated during a natural disaster: If the power goes out, you need to switch to your on-site generators. But if that natural disaster is a flood, those generators might get flooded, which is what happened in Crosby, according to an announcement on Arkema’s website. The plant had shut down operations prior to the storm, but the 40 inches of rain “inundated” the generators. A skeleton crew of 11 workers at the plant had transferred the heat-sensitive chemicals “into diesel-powered refrigerated containers,” but then those backup-backup containers weren’t high enough above the floodwaters, either, the company said Tuesday, explaining that it had evacuated the skeleton crew for their own safety:

At this time, refrigeration on some of our back-up product storage containers has been compromised due to extremely high water, rising to levels that are unprecedented in the Crosby area. Arkema is limited in what it can do to address the site conditions until the storm abates. We are monitoring the temperature of each refrigeration container remotely. At this time, while we do not believe there is any imminent danger, the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real.

The company says it’s working with the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA and local authorities, who have evacuated all residents from an area within a mile and a half from the plant.

A worker at another chemical plant in the area told the Washington Post that the chemicals should be kept at around 30 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent combustion. That same anonymous worker — who didn’t want her name revealed because who wants their name attached to something like this — also told the Post that if things get out of hand, the best you can do is “you get out and try not to be downwind.” SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN. If Crosby spills, crash and run.

Texas, we might remind you, has some of the weakest state regulations on the chemical, oil, and gas industries in the nation, because Freedom and Prosperity, something we all became aware of after the 2013 explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Following that explosion, which killed 15 people, injured over 160, and destroyed or damaged 150 buildings, we learned that the plant was unencumbered by any sprinkler system, community warning alarms, shut off system, or firewall system. And it hadn’t been inspected by OSHA since 1985.

Of course, Texas government learned a lot from that explosion. For one thing, it learned that chemical companies didn’t want any regulations that might get in the way of doing bidness, and so five big Texas facilities that stored large amounts of ammonium nitrate, the same chemical that leveled West (and which was used by Tim McVeigh in his Oklahoma City bomb), felt perfectly justified in turning away state fire marshal inspectors, because they didn’t wanna be inspected. By 2015, Texas eventually passed some very mild regulatory enhancements codifying safe storage of ammonium nitrate, but largely leaving the rest of the chemical industry alone, because isn’t the federal government burdensome enough? A 2016 report found that the few steps the state had taken since the West explosion were inadequate to protect public safety.

During the 2014 gubernatorial election, then-Attorney General Greg Abbott said there was no need to require chemical plants to disclose whatever toxic goo they were making and storing; he explained that if people in communities nearby really wanted to know if anything dangerous was being brewed in a chemical plant, they could simply drop by for a neighborly chat with the operators:

“You know where they are if you drive around,” Abbott told reporters Tuesday. “You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, well, we do have chemicals or we don’t have chemicals, and if they do, they tell which ones they have.” […]

Abbott said homeowners who think they might live near stores of dangerous chemicals could simply ask the companies near their homes what substances are kept on site.

So there’s your Texas attitude toward job-killing regulations in a nutshell. While the rainfall in Texas has been freakishly extreme and the Arkema plant did have several backups in place, those measures were obviously not enough to ensure their explodey stuff wouldn’t get dangerously warm, and now, it’s just a matter of hoping the chemicals don’t go kablooey. Laissez-faire and prayer really aren’t much of a safety plan, just maybe. Thank goodness the federal government is out to cut regulations even further, so everyone can eventually be rich enough to pick up and move when the chemical plants start hissing.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click the “Donate” linky, and be sure to stop in at your local chemical plant to see what’s up there. Bring cookies!

[WaPo / Arkema Americas / Texas Tribune]

$
Donate with CCDonate with CC
  • RumAddled

    “If Crosby spills, crash and run.”, Doc, you are a genius and you owe me a new keyboard!

  • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

    Chemicals, pfft. When I lived in Colorado, I could see the nuclear bomb plant from my house. And my homeowners insurance didn’t even cover nuclear contamination. Livin’ on the edge!

  • Oblios_Cap

    Certainly sounds like innovative chemistry.

  • Skeptical_thinker

    What (else) could possibly go wrong?

    • MrTusks

      On the bright side, someone made money off this! And isn’t that all that matters?

    • OneYieldRegular

      A lot, apparently. The floodwaters are so filled with pollutants and bacteria, and the potential for disease vectors via mosquitos is so great, that I’m afraid the greater Houston area is in for a whole passel of pestilence for some time to come.

  • Baconzgood

    I saw this in Superman III. It didn’t turn out well for Jimmy Olson. He bumped his head.

    • Msgr_MΩment

      Did they drop a coconut on his head to return his memory?
      They should have.

      • Pilotshark

        worked for Gilligan.

    • jesterpunk

      Was that the one where they mixed cigarettes into kryptonite and split Clark Kent from Superman?

  • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

    They don’t call themselves The One Star State for nuthin’.

  • Msgr_MΩment

    Organic peroxides?

    Make
    America
    Blonde
    Again!

    • Rick Hill

      Melania’s initiative as flotus?

    • TJ Barke

      Having more fun is totally worth the higher risk of melanoma.

    • Resistance Fighter Callyson

      #NotAllBlondes

  • Scooby

    I should have never moved from Bophal to Crosby.

  • Oblios_Cap

    Why did they evacuate their crew of skeletons? I wouldn’t think too much peroxide would hurt a bog-o-bones.

  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    he explained that if people in communities nearby really wanted to know if anything dangerous was being brewed in a chemical plant, they could simply drop by for a neighborly chat with the operators:

    Please note this plan only works if you’re pasty white. If you are any other color, the chemical plant has the right to assume you are some sort of terrorist and have you shot.

    • Gayer Than Thou

      My hunch is that if you are a Vagina American, you may get patted on your pretty head and told you probably can’t understand the science-y stuff that’s going on near your home and worrying about it only makes you less pretty.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        better show up with sammiches, or you’re not getting in…

    • Covfefe

      Even if he white people arent going to hear about the trade secrets.

    • SomeBigRedDog

      I don’t work in a chemical plant, but I do work in an industrial setting and this is complete bullshit. Best case scenario you get turned away at a security gate and told to “contact the corporate office” or some shit like that. Or maybe you get arrested for trespassing or shot at. Nobody who works at a place like this is gonna roll out the SDS book for some yokel wandering around to look through.

      • NastyBossetti

        Yeah, MrBossetti works in a laser factory, and the only person I can come into contact with if I just roll up there is a security guard, and he knows very little about what chemicals they have onsite.

        • MrTusks

          Is there a cooler job description than “I make lasers”?

          • SomeBigRedDog

            I taste test beer. It’s not my whole job, but a big part.

          • NastyBossetti

            That sounds pretty cool. Is it always the same kind, or do you at least get some variety?

          • Oblios_Cap

            I hear she can lick her own genitalia, too. Genital Adventures!

          • SomeBigRedDog

            You’re just jealous.

          • Oblios_Cap

            You’re right. You would bite me if I tried it.

          • SomeBigRedDog

            Mostly just from one brewery but I end every session with a “guest beer” to experience other styles we don’t make and keep up with what other breweries are doing (and mistakes they’re making.)

          • NastyBossetti

            There is. He’s a robot doctor in a laser factory. (That is not how he describes it, but his description makes people fall asleep, while mine makes it sound very exciting.)

          • MrTusks

            Is he a robot who’s a doctor, a doctor for robots, or a holder of a doctorate in robotics? Don’t answer, you can only disappoint me.

          • puredog

            I have a friend on the Big Island whose job description is “I bounce lasers off the moon.”

  • Panika MCD

    I will say that after the West explosion, many of the GOP legislators quite rightly said they did not want to hastily pass legislation to protect from future events without all the facts because if they passed something and it wasn’t enough, it would be difficult to build the political capital to pass further regulations. however, they clearly did not do enough. I blame TXOGA and Texas Chemical Council (see: James LeBas).

    also too: Exxon is reporting damage and leaks at their refineries in Baytown and Beaumont. Conoco Phillips has acknowledged that it will have to flare more toxic compounds than their current TCEQ permit allows for to avoid similar circumstances at their Cedar Bayou facility.

    https://www.texastribune.org/2017/08/29/exxonmobil-refineries-are-damaged-hurricane-harvey-releasing-hazardous/

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      So basically the whole area from Beaumont on down the coast is going to be a lovely toxic gumbo?

    • OneYieldRegular

      I drove past Exxon’s Baytown refinery a few years ago, and even at a distance of several miles the intense odors emanating from that thing probably took a few years off my life. I cannot imagine what the people in that area must be going through.

      • GunToting[Redacted]

        I’ve visited the site and have stayed in Baytown on a few occasions. I added Baytown to my list of places to never live (see also: Newark). Security there is also insane. In fact, my former boss was permanently barred from the site for being clocked at 50mph in the parking lot (posted speed: 10mph) because he was late for a meeting.

    • PubOption

      They released sulphur dioxide, so some of the rain would have been acidic, but the sheer volume of rain probably rendered it harmless.

  • Michael Smith

    If we start letting the government tell factories that they can’t store harmful chemicals in careless ways that put human life at grave risk, next thing you know they’ll be telling us we can’t be Christian.

    • Augustus

      it’s a really, really slippery slope

      y’know, from all the petrochemicals

    • eyelashviper

      Or own 7953 gunz..

  • Joe Beese

    Long piece from Charles Pierce on this and other hijinks.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a57276/harvey-longterm-effects/

    It points out that there are at least a dozen SuperFund sites in Harris County alone. Also that there are several Bio-Safety Level 4 [translation: SUPER SCARY] labs on Galveston Island which are in unknown shape because there’s too much flooding for journalists to reach them. And if the fuel generator on the roof run out of fuel, there goes the negative air pressure keeping the nasties inside.

    Also that “over the past 15 years, the Texas legislature refused to pass any plan to adapt the affected infrastructure as long as that legislation contained any reference to climate change.”

    Houston has been a flooding calamity waiting to happen for decades. The local and state governments stubbornly have refused to prepare it for a perfectly predictable meteorological catastrophe. Between its wild west zoning practices, its lascivious and unregulated romance with the petrochemical industry, and the fundamental facts of its underlying geology, the fourth-largest city in America essentially has sprawled itself across a dry lake bed, the consequences of which, we are finding out now, include the discovery that political obstinance, like water, inevitably finds its own level.

    • Gayer Than Thou

      Perhaps God is punishing Houston for lax zoning, weak environmental regulation, and inadequte infrastructure spending.

      • Oblios_Cap

        Republican Jesus would never do that. This is obviously the work of the Debbil!

      • OneYieldRegular

        Pfft. God’s range is way too limited for all that. He apparently only gets pissed if there are ‘bortions and ghez involved.

        • Oblios_Cap

          He’s got a lot on his hands, what with the sportsball season ratcheting up.

      • Msgr_MΩment

        …and the ghey. You forgot the ghey.

    • jesterpunk

      Dont worry i am sure the guy they put in charge of superfund funding wont funnel all of that money to his own bank account and some might be left over for a pack of baby wipes.

    • OneYieldRegular

      Gosh, this SO makes me want to see Greg Abbott and Donald Trump congratulating one another.

    • MrTusks

      “Calling it Bio-SAFETY will definitely put the locals at ease.”

  • Joe Beese

    (Bonus Wonk-points for Port Arthur, TX native Janis Joplin title reference.)

  • ManchuCandidate

    Who knew that deregulation, greed, denial and neglect would lead to horrible things?

  • janecita

    Regulations protect the environment, people, and private property, therefore they are bad for business.

    • Oblios_Cap

      Externalities are for other people. Socialize the risk!

  • icekat

    I actually feel kind of bad for Arkema. It looks as if they had a plan, and a backup plan, and a backup for their backup–and when the whole thing went sideways, they notified everybody and got their employees out of harm’s way. This is how we want these companies to act, so I hope they don’t get dinged too badly for it.

    • OutOfOrbit

      that sounds like a good point in their favor, now for the explosions WHOOHAH! it’s gonna be BIG it tellz-yuh

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Their plans didn’t seem to be for this level of flooding, which smacks if the kind of expectation that climate change doesn’t matter that no disaster plan can afford.

    • hendenburg2

      Just having a plan doesn’t mean jack. If the plan itself is no good, then it’s worthless.

      There are many things that their plan could have done. For example, their site layout could have put their generators on higher ground or structures. Or they could have had a drainage pool below the generators so if water floods in, it has somewhere to drain.

      Actual regulations include safety standards, and lax states like Texas do not generally include adequate standards in what few regulations they have.

      I say this as I am literally working on Health & Safety related regulatory paperwork.

  • Beowoof14

    Nothing like the protections of the free market to ensure maximum fuck ups.

    • MrTusks

      Don’t worry, if too many people die, the invisible hand of the market will exact punishment. As they will have suffered enough, no Congressional investigation will be necessary.

      • Beowoof14

        I do believe invisible hand of the market is giving Houston the finger right now.

  • Nockular cavity

    They’re channeling Capt. Mel here. “We may experience some flooding, and then, ah, explode.”

    • TJ Barke

      Hope that’s a typo, or your brown coat is being revoked.

      • Nockular cavity

        FINE, I fixed it.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson
    • Zippy W Pinhead

      without chemicals, life itself would be impossible*

      *thanks Monsanto

    • Panika MCD

      thanks for specifying!

  • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

    *sigh* The arkema thing sounds like they were at least trying.

    As for the other stuff, fuckin’ hell – there are how many cops, deputies and state troopers out there making sure someone doesn’t speed or drive drunk (and rightly so), but we can’t get regulations for plants that could kill dozens of people.

    sigh.

    • OutOfOrbit

      USA! USA! USA!

      • Creepoman

        In Hindi, it’s: Bhopal! Bhopal! Bhopal!

  • Latverian Diplomat

    “Backup generators above any potential flooding would be good, but that shits heavy!”
    — Arkema Emergency Plan Appendix A: Stuff we didn’t do

    • MrTusks

      Step 1: Go to Texas, where doing literally anything is characterized as “in excess of state requirements.”

  • I blame recreational psychedelics.

    • Nockular cavity

      I blame the gays. And Obama.

  • OneYieldRegular

    As the floodwaters rose, everyone ran to the Arkema to try to get on board, but then the damn thing exploded.

    Worst Biblical story ever.

    • eyelashviper

      At least they went out two by two, holding hands,or paws, or hooves, or claws.

  • MynameisBlarney

    It would appear that the “Texas Miracle” is gonna get a lot Texans killed.

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/concern-over-bio-lab-caught-in-texas-storm_us_59a68bd1e4b05fa16286be5f

    Here’s more cheery news you can worry about.

    ““As I see it the existential problem is this: What happens if and when the fuel for the back-up generators runs out?” asked University of Illinois professor Francis Boyle, an expert in biological weapons. “The negative air pressure that keeps (the) bugs in there ends. And (the) bugs can then escape.””

    • Msgr_MΩment

      I read that in Jeff Goldblum’s voice.

    • wait! what?

      Sounds like a description of the current White House administration.

    • richardgrabman

      Probably why they’re on an island.

  • SayItWithWookies

    “You know where they are if you drive around,” Abbott told reporters Tuesday. “You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, well, we do have chemicals or we don’t have
    chemicals, and if they do, they tell which ones they have.”

    “Well, I asked ’em — I don’t know what kinda chemical ‘proprietary information’ is, but that’s what they’re storing. Hope it’s safe.”

  • Rick Hill

    I’m more concerned about the deadly biological lab on Galveston Island. Who thought studying plague bacteria in a likely hurricane path was a good idea?

    • OutOfOrbit

      Republicans

    • Relativicus

      That’s on me. I figured the hurricanes would dilute the plagues down to, like, the common cold or something. Sorry?

      • Msgr_MΩment

        Don’t you know anything about homeopathics!?!!

    • eyelashviper

      I know, that is some high ranking stupidity….
      Maybe the neighbors should have stopped by for a chat and asked to see all the biological thingies growing there.

      • Rick Hill

        A lot of those bacteria are of the airborne variety. This could be the beginning of a worldwide event.

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          paging Steven King…

        • Those same bacteria live in the desert throughout the Southwest. Calm down.

          • Rick Hill

            C’mon. I want something to take my mind off of the destruction trump is causing.

        • eyelashviper

          Prevailing winds headed throughout the deep South…

          • Rick Hill

            Ok, so maybe one upside to it….

    • Have you been to Galveston?

      Down and out doesn’t begin to describe that hellhole

      • richardgrabman

        Ah, but it’s a charming hellhole. Any town founded by gay pirates (what do you think Jean Lafitte and his “cousin” Pierre were doing there) isn’t gonna be all bad.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Things are about to get Biblical if that place goes down…

      • Rick Hill

        The Esquire article mentioned gas fueled generators keeping a negative pressure on the containment. NO one has been allowed access to the island and the gas should be running out if it hasn’t already.

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          that’s special…

      • Good news, yaaaay!

        “Because the plague killed so many of the working population, wages rose due to the demand for labor. “

  • Relativicus

    I’d think even Trump supporters would have a hard time believing that driving up to the security gate of the neighboring chemical plant and being told to “turn back around before I call the police” will result in much in the way of assurance regarding their safety.

  • Mavenmaven

    The “invisible hand” giving us the finger.

    • Oblios_Cap

      The System works!

    • Trip Space-Parasite

      I don’t see what you did there.

  • Texas needed a better class of environmental backstabbers to represent their state defiance of all things federal.

    • Panika MCD

      now that Tsarina Von Clownstick is in office, the “LOCAL GOVERNMENT GOVERNS BEST” people at the lege are attacking local governments.

  • libertarian smack down

  • laughingnome

    You couldn’t pay me to live in Texas

    • OutOfOrbit

      well, if i could pick my location and the amount was good-nuffl—up front of course

      • MrTusks

        I could live in San Antonio for a modest stipend of $100k per year.

        • Panika MCD

          join the military.

          • MrTusks

            I’m a Democrat, how dare you ask me to work for a living??

          • Panika MCD

            that’s how you get a $100K stipend per year in San Antonio!

    • Covfefe

      George Soros pays me, and a bunch of other liberals, to live in Michigan. Maybe you should talk to George about living in Texas.

      • Panika MCD

        how’s that working out for ya? seems like you guys have been trending redder and we’ve been getting bluer.

    • Panika MCD

      and you have to go without breakfast tacos and Topo Chico. how about that?

  • wait! what?

    No worries Ark is in their name; so they’ll float, right?

    • SayItWithWookies

      Just like Ken Ham’s ark in Kentucky does.

      • wait! what?

        It’s just weird that Noah was supposed to have a son named Ham, too.

    • Msgr_MΩment

      You bet your cubit.

  • I’d rather dissolve in 3 feet of caustic chemicals than give liberals control.

  • Mavenmaven

    If large portions of Texas become uninhabitable, you can bet the Republicans will choose to gerrymander them to their advantage.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      It’s not like any part of Texas is super-habitable now.

      • Hell, on the dryest day of the year you can still drown in Stupidity down there

        • Panika MCD

          I’m sure that you can drown in stupidity about anywhere in the US.

      • Panika MCD

        that’s why our population is increasing so rapidly…oh, right.

    • If? Twas always been that way.

    • richardgrabman

      Yeah, they want to get rid of all those Dems in Houston. After all, Harris County is not only solidly Dem, it’s also not a white country.

  • NastyBossetti

    You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, well, we do have chemicals or we don’t have
    chemicals.

    Everything is made out of chemicals, so I’m going to save everyone a trip to their local “facility.” Yes, they have chemicals.

  • If cutting off my dick will hurt liberals, not only will I cut off my dick, I’ll experiment with acid rain.

  • memzilla Ω

    … the few steps the state had taken since the West explosion were inadequate to protect public safety.

    The only steps that were taken were by this fuckwit:
    .https://media.giphy.com/media/3o7TKxXdA7VVfLbbi0/giphy.gif

    • Panika MCD

      or…you know…the lege. since I sat through those hearings.

  • NotHardly

    Can you say “Texas Toast”?

    • The only toast that cooks itself.

  • I’m praying for Chemistry.
    https://federerfan07.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/federer_2k10_iw_14.jpg

    Blinded by Stupidity

    • wait! what?

      Francis Tiafoe almost stopped that…

  • I would think that after the Nashville Statement, Jesus would be so happy with humanity that he would prevent any more tragedy and clean up this mess with a miracle or two.

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    The explosions at night are big and bright
    Derp in the heart of Texas
    The prairie fires are wide and high
    Derp in the heart of Texas

    • Covfefe

      Shame. Texas having a heart attack and all.

    • Toomush_Inferesistance

      Oh the Yellow Rose of ……..BOOM!…

  • Joe Beese

    Oh, more good news about those Biosafety Level 4 labs on Galveston Island…

    One is Texas Biomedical Research Institute, the only privately owned BSL-4 lab in the country. And judging from its treatment of its primate test subjects, it does not seem like the most diligent place.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Biomedical_Research_Institute#Controversy

    • eyelashviper

      Among their current projects, fun and games:

      Developing vaccine strategies for Ebola, HIV, Lassa virus, West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis viruses, and herpes.

      We can all hope that their little experiments are well quarantined, after a cat 4 goes by.

  • boiled frog say what?

  • schmannity

    The tree of liberty has to be watered with the petrochemicals of patriots.

    • OutOfOrbit

      LIGHT’EM UP!

  • Alan Medsker

    Yo, regarding your clever tag line, THIS IS NOT LIKE FUCKING THREE MILE ISLAND, where nobody was hurt, and the containment structure did it’s job just fine, thanks. Please don’t conflate this with that. Nuclear energy is keeping the lights on in Houston and saving who knows how many lives right now, because the South Texas Nuclear Project reactors are running full steam, being protected from the elements and all. Running at 100% percent of rated capacity (https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/reactor-status/ps.html). No coal has to be delivered on a train, no gas lines need to be intact, all the fuel is on site. No emissions (except from those that drive or boat to go to work there) and certainly no chemical risks. So don’t be dissing our most reliable, largest, robustest, hurricane-proofest clean energy source. You’re welcome.

    • OutOfOrbit

      you are a idiot texass could be all renewables powereded by now if not for the GOP

      • Panika MCD

        we produce more wind power than any other state in the nation…by a lot. we produce over three times the amount of wind power that CA does. THANKS!

        • And that is just the republicans talking about how to ban abortions.

          • Panika MCD

            it’s really a combo of rural GOPers and Dems.

        • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

          dude, don’t kill yourself. If you debunk every Texas thing, you’ll be here all day.

          My plan, let them get it out of their systems.

          • Panika MCD

            they never do. but I have a time limit. going between this and getting info out on the FacePlant. know anyone that headed there that is in the Wharton area? trying to get an evac for a dialysis patient.

          • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

            I don’t know where wharton is – and nobody I know personally is going.

            I can help you do some research if you like.

          • Panika MCD

            it’s about 60 miles SW of Houston in Wharton Co.

          • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

            hmmmm, I’d probably start with local authorities, unless they’re friggin slammed.

            Let me know if I can help.

          • Panika MCD

            they’re trying everything. I’m basically looking for people headed in that direction at this point. also: Port Arthur’s shelter is flooding if you know anyone over there that can help evacuate them.

          • Alan Medsker

            Lunch break almost over.

          • Ricky Gay

            Not soon enough!

        • Alan Medsker

          Of course you do, and that’s fine. Y’all are a big state, with lotsa wind. But you still burn a shitload of stuff. Nuclear can fill the gaps from wind/solar without having to do that. So, we’re friends now, right??

          • Panika MCD

            we have two nuclear power plants. one in Houston.

          • Alan Medsker

            Yep, and it’s running through the storm, keeping the lights on.

          • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

            …in places where the electrical wires are still upright.

          • Panika MCD

            tell that to all the people without power right now.

      • Alan Medsker

        Do a little homework (math, to be precise). I’m as left as you are, but I kinda like the sciency stuff also. RE can’t power all, and people that claim that have been debunked pretty harshly. Need all the nukes also. Do you have any idea how much energy TX needs, and how much is provided by burning stuff (like coal)? And, you need something that works all the time, BTW. So yes, the GOP sucks, but no, can’t do renewables for everything.

        • Toomush_Inferesistance

          Storage, baby – it’s the new science…

          • Alan Medsker

            Be a *long* time before that’s ready. Plus, why jump through all those hoops while refusing to use something that is way better, and doesn’t require storage? I mean, yes, research everything, improve everything, but let’s not leave the thing that produces 60% of all US clean electricity off the table (yes, I know I’m getting off-original-topic…).

        • OutOfOrbit

          math is not allowed here

          • Alan Medsker

            Sorry, I forgot.

          • OutOfOrbit

            btw, enough solar energy reaches Earth every day to power EVERYTHING for like, eleventy thousand years (ok i made that up but still …) if we could spend the $$$ on collection/storage of solar power that was spent on nookuler, we’d be there in 10 years & yeah i made that up too, but it’s close enough for govment work if not for the top 1% taking all the monies

    • TJ Barke

      Christ you nuke people have chips on your shoulders.

      • Ricky Gay

        Lead-based

      • Alan Medsker

        I *said* you’re welcome, didn’t I??

      • Alan Medsker

        And I wear this chip like a badge of honor :-).

        • Ricky Gay

          We can see it a mile away, it glows.

          • Alan Medsker

            I asked for one of those, but I’m not an Official Shill so they wouldn’t give me one…

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      clean until it’s time to dispose of those spent fuel rods

      • OutOfOrbit

        or something goes wrong r.e. Murphy’s Law

        • Fukushima, anyone?

          • weejee

            Hanford?

          • Alan Medsker

            Weapons? Oh, I thought we were talking about nuclear power.

          • Alan Medsker

            Nobody died from nukes there. Look it up. If things need to be shut down, they will be. NRC folks are on site. Storm crew is on-site, with beds. They are hunkered down for the duration. If they shut this down lots more folks go without power (hospitals, fire stations, etc.).

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            Nobody is saying it should be shut down in the middle of a natural disaster- we’re just mocking your ridiculously rosy cheer leading for an energy form that is far from as safe or clean as the press releases you seem to be regurgitating claim

          • Ricky Gay

            Our first atomic troll!

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            Attack of the fifty foot commenter!

          • Ricky Gay

            Gyna Syndrome

          • Alan Medsker

            Seriously, folks, not trolling. Trying to answer questions. If you have any. I *have* done a lot of homework on this stuff. If I don’t know something, I’ll tell you that and get back to you. Just saying that we have a lot to GAIN by keeping nukes running, and building more, ‘cuz storms and CO2 and billions of people without electricity yet, and… So join me. Or, just ask questions.

          • Ricky Gay

            Has this barage of unsolicited data ever worked for you? Is it the process that gets you off? Because around here it eventually gets you banhammered. I am sure Dok has a lead one.

          • Alan Medsker

            Like I said elsewhere, lunch break is almost over… I am simply responding to concerns that I see expressed. I hope it’s helpful to someone, but if not, or if I get kicked out, I’ll try to learn from it.

            I mean, between the chip and not getting any Shill Pay, sometimes things get out of hand for me.

          • Ricky Gay

            Dude, sometimes? You seem to have a half-life of 200 years!

          • Alan Medsker

            45 minutes…

          • Ricky Gay

            Bye now!

          • Tio_Doidinho

            Uh-huh.

            http://www.environmentalprogress.org/why-what-how/

            You’re just “answering questions” on behalf of your think tank. Like any engaged citizen.

          • Alan Medsker

            Safer than anything else we use. Nothing is 100% safe. Amiright?

          • Alan Medsker

            Also, I try to keep my Rosy Cheer right next to my other badges of honor…

            Seriously, if you think something I said is incorrect, ask me about it. My motives are very clear, and I think honorable.

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            You have spun the numbers like a true industry shill- nothing that is an outright lie per se, but lots of lies of omission. Speaking of Chernobyl, yes, 50+ deaths confirmed so far, but the IAEA, UN and WHO are predicting 4000 deaths due to high dosage exposure (mostly thyroid cancer) along with with another 5000 deaths from lesser exposure. These aren’t even the more alarmist numbers generated by some of the scientists, doctors and healthcare workers on the ground- in a worst case scenario, up to one million deaths (New York Academy of Sciences in 2011). Others including the former radiation advisor for WHO, are predicting 30,000 to 60,000. And this doesn’t include the immense damage to the environment and the local wildlife.

            In Fukushima, you did a fine job of cherrypicking the data to get you the numbers that you wanted- indeed, at this point there are no deaths directly attributed to radiation poisoning. But there have been over 1600 deaths overall caused by the Fukushima disaster, more than caused by the earthquake itself. You of course made an apples to oranges comparison to other disasters by limiting Fukushima solely to radiation related deaths, while speaking in terms of total deaths from other incidents. And the jury is still out on longterm damage from exposure both directly to the radiation and the consumption of seafood that has been exposed.

            The truth is, nuclear generated power is a necessary bridge technology until we can produce better technologies in sufficient amounts to replace it. But the idea that nuclear is “clean” or that it is less inherently risky than wind or solar (I love how you constantly pivot to coal to avoid the direct comparisons to other clean technologies) is laughable. And nobody is talking about shutting down the nuclear plants overnight, much less doing so in the middle of a hurricane, is just a handy straw man you erected.

            But the idea that nuclear is any sort of longterm solution to our energy needs is nonsense, consider the ridiculously high startup costs and the potential catastrophic consequences of an accident. We’ve been lucky so far, those rosy numbers of yours could have been far higher.

          • bupkus231

            Nobody died from “acute radiation poisoning” at Fukushima – but you cannot say that the long-term effects of radiation exposure have been accounted for.

          • Alan Medsker

            Actually, yes, the WHO has done a couple of studies now, and basically says that nobody died from radiation, or even got sick, and they don’t expect anyone to. 1600 or more died from being evacuated. Radiation doesn’t kill, fear of radiation does.

          • bupkus231

            [ Sorry for later response – I had an appointment ]

            So, “minor” increases in risks of developing cancer isn’t worth speaking about?

            Link: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/fukushima_report_20130228/en/

            …In terms of specific cancers, for people in the most contaminated location, the estimated increased risks over what would normally be expected are:

            all solid cancers – around 4% in females exposed as infants;
            breast cancer – around 6% in females exposed as infants;
            leukaemia – around 7% in males exposed as infants;
            thyroid cancer – up to 70% in females exposed as infants (the normally expected risk of thyroid cancer in females over lifetime is 0.75% and the additional lifetime risk assessed for females exposed as infants in the most affected location is 0.50%).
            For people in the second most contaminated location of Fukushima Prefecture, the estimated risks are approximately one-half of those in the location with the highest doses.

            The report also references a section to the special case of the emergency workers inside the Fukushima NPP. Around two-thirds of emergency workers are estimated to have cancer risks in line with the general population, while one-third is estimated to have an increased risk…. “

            Note that this is also only speaking about “radiation exposure” from a single incident – not exposure to released toxins, if another event releases more than steam. When you consider the entire industry, this WHO report doesn’t include risks that you just elide over in your enthusiasm. Waste disposal, fuel production ( which was at least at one time carried out at Hanford and Oak ridge, not just weapons research ). transportds – these all have risks that may not be expressed by a single incident in an immediate timeframe. You chpoose to look at nuclear power in these terms – which tells me, once again that you have a “comic book” level of understanding of the complexities – which allows you to speak so confidently about the wonders of nuclear power….

            Now, you may say that it’s a “political problem” – but…

            Link: http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Renewable-energy-surpasses-nuclear-power-for-11269908.php

            This piece says that this might be “ephemeral” – but we really have barely even started exploiting renewables, while many of our nuclear plants are ready ( or over-ready ) for retirement ( remember, we have to make a massive investment just to keep up with what we did debelop, let alone increase our usage )….

            Pay attention to the economics – not just the “fear”. It ain’t just “governmental regulation” that makes nuclear so much more expensive.

          • Alan Medsker

            My objective would be to have a realistic view of all our sources of energy, and not hold any one of them to standards that we would not hold the others to, and make well-informed, educated decisions. The issue I have with the tagline here, and with much of what is reported in the press about nuclear, is that it is *always* a negative thing, and nothing is ever reported about the 1.8 million people that have not died due to nuclear energy being used instead of us burning crap (for example).

            Even if people do die from radiation due to the fukushima meltdowns (and I would still maintain that those additional projected cancers are basically “in the noise” and can’t really be attributed to any one thing), over their life those reactors produced an immense amount of energy, without any emissions to speak of (mostly during construction).

            Were those reactors perfect? Of course not, and neither was their management without fault. But the fact is that the worse disaster that could have been thrown their way was thrown, and the consequences, while expensive, were not deadly in any significant way. The real tragedy there was the 20,000 people that were lost in the Tsunami, of course. We learned much from that situation, and lots of money has been spent to better-prepare nukes for bad weather events, earthquakes etc. as a result. Even though commercial nuclear power in the US has never killed anyone.

            Are US nuclear plants perfect? Of course not. But they are run exceptionally well, and provide the most reliable source of clean energy that we have (more reliable than even hydro), even in hurricanes, even in polar vortexes (vortices?), or any other weather. Do we need to decide what to do with lightly used fuel, but it’s useful, and small in volume, and not particularly dangerous. We know how to handle it, and we know how to “boil it down” to use the additional energy and reduce the “ashes” to require much less time and space to store. To do that, we need to stop treating nuclear like a key component in our energy mix, and work through the issues that are there. ALL other forms of energy are inferior when compared, if you consider footprint, waste, reliability, scalability, track record and any other metric you might want to use to describe “good” energy. I don’t have a particular issue with renewables, other than that I want them to be measured according to the same metrics as other sources. We need solutions TODAY if we want to meet anything close to a 2 degree limit in temp rise. Renewables today require backup for when they don’t run, and that is almost always methane. Better than coal, but not by that much really, when you consider the leakage and flaring that its use results in. We have nothing close to any battery tech that is grid level that would be required, so some sort of dispatchable source will have to do the job for the forseeable future. Nukes could do that, if so designed, and if the extra cost incurred is covered.

            So, perhaps there are some health ramifications from Fukushima, but in the grand scheme they are pretty certain to be minor. And that situation is not very likely to be repeated, certainly not in the US.

            Cost is important, of course. Regulations are not the only reason for high nuke cost, but it is not inherently expensive. Our biggest problem right now is that we have no experience building them in this country, so no work force experience, lots of mismanagement, FOAK issues etc. drive the $ up. But remember that they are designed to last 60 years, and can be expected to run for 80 or 100. So that cost is spread over a long time. Today’s utilities (or their stockholders) aren’t as interested in long term stuff like that, as much as they might have been once. Remember also that the best solar panels stop producing at 100% shortly after the are installed, and steadily decrease as time goes by, and cannot be expected to last more than maybe 30 years. So that entire investment needs to be replaced much more often. Windmills are even shorter-lived. And, is there a decomissioning fund for those? With nuclear plants, that is built into the operating cost so the money will be there, to return the site to a greenfield state upon retirement. We have a long way to go before that is the case with other energy sources.

            To get back to my original point, referring to this chemical plant pending disaster as a “three mile island” situation paints nuclear in an unfairly bad light. The chemical plant does not have any containment vessel or other safety features to keep this sort of event from decimating the neighborhood, with who-know-what effects further away. TMI had that, and as a result nobody was hurt, and the amount of radiation released was minimal and not enough to affect anyone’s health. Our stuggle to do the right thing for our planet, and ourselves, is not going to be made easier by removing the biggest, most tested and only proven decarbonization tool from the table. You seem to be working hard to find any and all reasons you might use to keep from having to use it. I wish you would be as passionate about finding ways to address your concerns so we could. I hope you’ll join me.

          • bupkus231

            We’ve long passed the “TL:DR” threshold for many, I guess – so, I won’t respond to the several points you made that I felt still showed me you really aren’t as informed as you believe you are.

            I’ll just respond to this:
            “I wish you would be as passionate about finding ways to address your concerns so we could. I hope you’ll join me.”

            Going from “try to be objective and realistic “and evolving to “be passionate” does not really inspire confidence. There’s a reason there’s a whole category of offenses called “crimes of passion”. I’m not saying your “position” is a crime – but when you confuse passionate advocacy of a position with reasoned exploration of ALL the issues, your “passion” merely harms you.

          • Alan Medsker

            My passion is to help people, and protect the planet. If you share that, then I would think you’d want to work to resolve and/or mitigate the issues you seem to feel are showstoppers for nuclear, instead of just declaring that they are showstoppers. Without nuclear, we are going to burn a shitload more FF going forward. I think the consequences of that outweigh, by orders of magnitude, even the worse case nuclear disaster.

            I’m sorry I don’t inspire confidence, but I would still encourage you to look critically at all of the issues, including and especially those that renewable sources present. We need to use proven technology, now, in addition to developing and deploying new and unproven ones, to make the difference that needs to be made.

          • bupkus231

            “Without nuclear, we are going to burn a shitload more FF going forward. ”

            And how much are we going to burn before any of this new capacity nuclear comes online? This is one of the issues I have with your bossyerism – you ignore the timelines involved, both in development and in dealing with the current “leftovers”.

            I would encourage YOU to look more critically at these issues, as well as whatever issues you think you know a lot about. I already feel I know a lot more than you do – I just don’t think I have all the answers ( while ignoring or downplaying “inconvenient” bits ).

            Do you mind telling us where your “expertise” comes from? Are you a nuclear power engineer? Or any kinda technical person? I’m a retired software engineer – I know I don’t know everything about many issues ( hell, I don’t even know software anymore ). But the main thing I know is that anyone who claims a problem is “simple” and all that is required to solve said problem is sufficient “passion”, is nothing but a fool.

          • Alan Medsker

            So, you say that we should not start because it will take time? Seems to me that’s a reason to start ASAP. The alternative is that in 10 years (or whatever) we DON’T have that additional capacity.

            I probably do come off as a little bossy, sorry ’bout that. I get a lot of that coming my way, as you might imagine (but still no excuse…). I’m not trying to ignore anything, I just want to look at the issues as problems to be solved, not show-stoppers. For crying out loud, the issue of indeterminacy of renewables is in no way solved, at all, and the only proposed solutions for using only these things requires huge $ and time for grid buildouts, massive tracts of land and implementation of tech that we don’t have. That gets downplayed all the time in my experience, and right now those things absolutely are show stoppers. So I don’t like putting most/all the eggs in that basket.

            I don’t claim to be an expert, but I do try to read and learn from them. I’m telecom engineer by trade. I’ve read a lot, interacted with lots of nuclear engineers, nuclear engineering students, operators, and others in the industry, as well as many like myself that are not “nukes” by vocation but have studied and learned, and come to the conclusion that it’s our best tool to fight climate change and address energy poverty. So, I’m very technical, but others that share my views and advocate for nuclear are not always that way. They, like I, trust that those whose training and careers have given then deep knowledge of the workings of the technology when their opinions are that we should be using it more, and that it is, when responsibly managed, quite safe. I do hear about the issues, and I see lots of critical analysis of them. I haven’t seen them brushed off or ignored, but the methods that have been, or could be used to address them are laid out and my informed opinion is that those are valid approaches, and can be implemented.

            Don’t get me wrong — I know quite a bit about how a nuclear plant operates, and I know a quite a bit about newer nuclear reactor designs. I’ve tried to learn about energy markets and systems as well (I’m EE by degree way back when), which is important and pretty key to decarbonization. So I do think I know more than the average joe about this stuff, but I also try to make sure I don’t claim knowledge I don’t have. That’s why I ask for questions — I can do something with that, either with my own knowledge, or by asking experts that I know. I think it’s important to have the discussion. Cuz right now, as a society, we are basically acting like we love coal, and methane. The “exponential buildout” of renewables has been going on for decades and still only claims a very small percentage of our electricity production, and a much smaller percentage of our total energy use. The problem is huge, and we need all the tools. You may not like my approach (and I hope I can adjust it to make it less offensive to you and others), but those things remain the case. If we don’t point some really, really big guns at decarbonization, we don’t stand a chance of limiting the temp rise to 4 or 5 degrees, never mind 2. So no, it’s not simple, but I am passionate about addressing this. I’ve spent lots of time and energy in “non-passionate” learning, critical analysis and informal discussions about all of this, and I have learned a lot. But there is always more, of course. I guess if you don’t think passion has a place in all of this, I’m cool with that, but it’s what keeps me going.

          • bupkus231

            “So, you say that we should not start because it will take time? Seems to me that’s a reason to start ASAP. The alternative is that in 10 years (or whatever) we DON’T have that additional capacity.”

            And in ten years, we could have twice the capacity if the same money was invested in solar, wind, and hydro. You ignore the growth ( and falling costs ) of these “current technologies”.

            Link: http://energypost.eu/renewable-energy-versus-nuclear-dispelling-myths/

      • Alan Medsker

        Glad you asked. Easiest waste there is to manage, and will serve as fuel for next generation reactors. Remarkably tiny amount also (3 semi trunks every 18 months or so). Compare that to a coal slag pile, or the millions of tons of CO2 and particulates that are emitted by burning stuff. Whenever nuclear runs, it saves lives. Always.

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          ROFL- yeah, it’a clean, compared to the dirtiest thing I could think of to compare it to…

          • Alan Medsker

            Does require shielding for awhile, but it’s stored securely and is basically just solid metal stuff, waiting to be reprocessed for more energy. So, depends on your def of “dirty”. You can go walk amongst the casks that they use, no harm will come.

          • Ricky Gay

            Should I go with the undercoating, or is that a scam?

          • Alan Medsker

            Ziebart.

          • bupkus231

            Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_the_United_States#Waste_disposal

            Waste disposal[edit]
            Recently, as plants continue to age, many on-site spent fuel pools have come near capacity, prompting creation of dry cask storage facilities as well. Several lawsuits between utilities and the government have transpired over the cost of these facilities, because by law the government is required to foot the bill for actions that go beyond the spent fuel pool.
            There are some 65,000 tons of nuclear waste now in temporary storage throughout the U.S.[110] Since 1987, Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, had been the proposed site for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, but the project was shelved in 2009 following years of controversy and legal wrangling.[110][111] An alternative plan has not been proffered.[112]
            At places like Maine Yankee, Connecticut Yankee and Rancho Seco, reactors no longer operate, but the spent fuel remains in small concrete-and-steel silos that require maintenance and monitoring by a guard force. Sometimes the presence of nuclear waste prevents re-use of the sites by industry.[113]
            Without a long-term solution to store nuclear waste, a nuclear renaissance in the U.S. remains unlikely. Nine states have “explicit moratoria on new nuclear power until a storage solution emerges”.[114][115]
            Some nuclear power advocates argue that the United States should develop factories and reactors that will recycle some spent fuel. But the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future said in 2012 that “no existing technology was adequate for that purpose, given cost considerations and the risk of nuclear proliferation”.[115]
            There is an “international consensus on the advisability of storing nuclear waste in deep underground repositories”,[116] but no country in the world has yet opened such a site.[116][117][118][119][120][121] The Obama administration has disallowed reprocessing of nuclear waste, citing nuclear proliferation concerns.[106]

            Go back to your comic books, asshole.

          • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

            they were talking about building one way out in the middle of nowhere west texas, it was a big thing for awhile, cause the site was going to be on a fucking fault line.

            Yeah, I don’t *trust* corps. to handle such dangerous materials safely.

          • Alan Medsker

            Someone’s gotta handle stuff. Corp’s handling this plastic crap that’s a few degrees from exploding. No government inspectors on site there (like there are at every nuclear plant). Sometimes you just gotta regulate and enforce. Unless you nationalize everything.

          • Alan Medsker

            And you think I haven’t read that? Not sure why this makes me an asshole. I’m trying to stay away from personal attacks — isn’t that one of the rules here?

            My motivations are only good, same as yours (one would hope). I want safe, clean, plentiful energy for everyone, with as little impact on the environment as possible.

            The issues with spent nuclear fuel are almost entirely political, as the technical issues are well understood and could be resolved if we could focus on them. In the meantime, ALL nuclear spent fuel is tracked, protected, and waiting for the next generation of nuclear reactors to use it to produce 50x more energy than it originally produced. It’s quite valuable, in that sense. And it has never hurt anyone.

            Honestly, you guys need to think about this, and ask questions. Maybe not of me, but there are lots of places you can find good, unbiased info on nuclear energy. I was anti-nuclear at one point also, but I now consider it our single biggest and best tool to fight energy poverty and climate change. If you think I’m insincere, or stupid, or a Paid Shill (I never know if there is a c in that word…), so be it. But that’s why I feel this way, and why I speak up.

            P.S. I love Yer Wonkette.

    • Are most nuclear reactors built to withstand the blast from a nearby chemical plant exploding when it’s unstable chemical compounds get warm enough to produce a large explosion? Or if some crazy fundamentalist nut jobs decide to crash an airplane into it.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        yes to the second thing- they’re required to withstand a direct impact from an airliner

        • That is a hell of lot force to withstand, not too mention the heat from burning jet fuel.

          • Swampgas_Man

            But burning jet fuel can’t melt steel, as some guy on FB is always telling me.

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            That’s what I was told about the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in CA. Dunno if those regs are nationwide, but would assume so.

          • Alan Medsker

            Turns out a jet airliner with fuel is not really all that lethal anyway. Very flimsy, and fuel gets thrown all over the place so isn’t concentrated. Look up “train rams nuclear waste container” or some such to see a related (and fun) video.

      • Alan Medsker

        They are as hardened as any civilian facility that we have. And the danger, even if breached, does not compare to even this one chemical plant. Also, a little radioactivity (literally) never hurt anyone.

        • I think there are some people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that might not agree with you on that.

          • Alan Medsker

            bombs != fission for energy

          • Bombs are exactly fission for energy, just uncontrolled fission. Which is what can happen if a nuclear reactor is breached. Also, you might be a little more believable if there was a single comment on your profile that wasn’t praising/defending nuclear energy or yourself.

          • Alan Medsker

            Not the same thing at all (but yes, both fission to be technically correct). Point is that military waste is not what we’re talking bout here.

            This is a liberal blog, and the liberal party line is anti-nuclear, generally. So I would not expect a lot of help. I just want people to think about it, give credit where it’s due, and be realistic about costs/risks etc. I am hoping that maybe some of what I say will cause at least a teeny, tiny bit of that.

          • Alan, I have degrees in chemistry and pharmacology. Your comment about a little bit of radiation never killed anyone is just so much bullshit. Small amounts of radiation disrupt DNA, and depending on which genes are damaged leads to tumors. So the tumor kills or maims the person, but the radiation started the process. This is why we had to be so careful and have regular inspections when we used radioactive tracers in the lab. This is why there are such strict regulations about the waste products of nuclear reactors. This is why there cancer rate around Chernobyl went up. (I also worked with a scientist from the Kiev Institute.) Nuclear pollution is really quite dangerous.
            Second, the physical processes in an atomic bomb and a nuclear reactor are exactly the same. Large, unstable nuclei are hit by energetic subatomic particles causing the large nuclei to split into smaller nuclei, a couple of subatomic particles, and releases some of the binding energy of the nucleus. The only difference is, in a nuclear reactor we put carbon rods in with the reaction to absorb some of the neutrons to keep it from exploding, and we use a coolant to transfer the heat energy to a system for generating electrical energy.
            The risks are quite high. We are much better of researching ways to harvest the energy of sunlight and convert it to chemical energy. Even it is hydrocarbon based (i.e. having algae or bacteria synthesize hydrocarbons) it is much safer. The carbon residue will just be broken down and reused in a loop driven by solar energy. Or we can develop power cells using the formation of water to generate electricity and sunlight to crack the water back into hydrogen and oxygen. In fact, any chemical or physical process which can convert solar energy into chemical or electrical energy is significantly safer.
            And this is not about politics. It is about safety now and generations from now. But it is also about how someone can make money from it. When we reach that part, then nuclear energy will be abandoned quickly.

    • Ricky Gay

      Very Chernoble of you, thanks!

      • Alan Medsker

        Oh, you shouldn’t have…

        • Ricky Gay

          Um, neither should you. But I see this is a bit of a hobby horse of yours. Your comment queue is very, um (radio) active!

          • Alan Medsker

            Nicest thing anyone’s said to me all day (but I haven’t read all the comments yet…).

          • Ricky Gay

            How could you? You are a busy man.

          • Alan Medsker

            Busy reading comments — holy cow. I underestimated the response my lil ol’ post would get.

    • Tio_Doidinho

      Well golly and thank you, Shilly McShillstein.

      Looking at your commenting timeline, you appear to be quite singularly obsessed with disproving the dangers of nuclear power across several websites. This obsession doesn’t happen to be connected your paycheck, now does it?

      • Joe Beese

        Let’s not make unkind assumptions.

        Perhaps they’re just really passionate on the subject.

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          I am also really passionate about my paycheck

          • Alan Medsker

            We all are, kinda hafta be.

        • Alan Medsker

          What was your first clue? LOL

      • Alan Medsker

        Telecommunications, but thanks. Benefits of nukes are huge. Risks are there, but pretty small. I’ve done a lot of homework, but am not in the industry (wish, though…). I care about people and the planet, so I want the best for both. I do stand on the shoulders of lots of very smart people that DO work in the industry, or will when they graduate, and they all pay serious attention to the risks, and safety. But it’s just not that risky. Look up “deaths per terawatt hour” sometime. Nukes are basically lowest.

        But if you know of a way I can get paid for this, I’m all ears.

        • Ricky Gay

          The “all ears” thing… that’s a mutation isn’t it? Sorry man!

        • Tio_Doidinho

          Hmmmm…your CV says otherwise.

          http://www.environmentalprogress.org/why-what-how/

          So you’re just shilling for nuclear power out of the goodness of your heart, eh?

          • Alan Medsker

            Yeah, I work with EP, but no pay, sadly. And even if there were, they don’t take any industry $, it’s all private. And my motives are in fact good, even if sometimes my heart doesn’t have charity in it (like, for those fuckers that wrote the Nashville Statement piece of crap). But I love all you guys.

    • Joe Beese

      I suppose nuclear power works fine. Until it doesn’t.

      Then you’ve got problems.

      • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

        and that’s the rub in my mind. If it goes wrong it can go SPECTACULARLY wrong.

        • Alan Medsker

          How wrong? Examples? Like dams that burst and kill 100,000 people? Or 10’s of 1000’s of people that die EVERY YEAR from FF pollutants? Or methane explosions that level neighborhoods? No, they don’t. I can be expensive, but the worst isn’t as bad as even a moderately bad industrial accident (Bopahl, anyone?).

          • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

            as I understand chernobyl is still unlivable fifty years later.

            We apparently got lucky on Three Mile Island.

            I don’t have a dog in this hunt.

      • Alan Medsker

        Be specific. Worst disasters (Chernobyl, Fukushima) resulted in very few deaths (like 50 for C, NONE for F). Compared to ANY other source, way safer.

        • wait! what?

          References, please.

        • Les Appentis De la résistance

          Very large unihabitable areas, widespread contamination but no ‘deaths’. Other than the work crews who were exposed to intense radiation and caught cancer. I frankly do not know of any hydro, coal, or natural gas power plant explosions to compare nuclear’s track record with.

        • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

          You’re also kinda forgetting that everything within 20 miles of Chernobyl has been rendered almost completely uninhabitable for the last 30+ years, and probably will remain uninhabitable for the next couple of centuries or so (absent massive advances in radiation cleanup).
          Oh, and places as far away as the United Kingdom quarantining livestock due to exposure to radioactive fallout or eating from contaminated land (restrictions which weren’t lifted until around 5 years ago).

          • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

            i forgot about the fallout – did chernobyl leak gases and stuff that went into the jetstream and was spread all over the continent?

          • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

            Yeah – once the reactor melted down, radioactive steam and gasses vented from damaged equipment for days. Once it got into the air currents, fallout was spread as far as the Scottish Highlands and the Alps. The highest levels of land and groundwater contamination were in Belarus, with the Ukraine and Russia close behind.

          • Joe Beese

            Well, if you’re going to nitpick…

        • Resistance Fighter Astraea
          • Joe Beese

            Disturbing imagery at that link. Decide carefully before clicking.

    • Mr. Blobfish

      This message has been brought to you by the South Texas Nuclear Power and Moneychangers Guild. Nuclear Power. It’s what’s for dinner.

    • Notreelyhelping
  • Scooby

    I have more backups to protect my weed stash.

    • Les Appentis De la résistance

      I like to stay high and dry. But mostly high.

  • Mr. Blobfish

    Add to that all the gasoline, diesel and oil leaking out of cars, trucks and service stations. I doubt there’s much heating oil in use. Sandy added that to the toxic sludge.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    Peroxides give off huge amounts of oxygen when heated. They are sometimes used as an oxidiser in rocket fuel for this reason. This can add significant oomf to any fire or explosion they are involved in. Fun.

    • NotReallyHere
    • Bright Bart

      rocket fuel?! wont that blow the sharks swimming down highway 51 causing…dare I say it…SHARKNADO??!!!??

      • wait! what?

        Ugh, let Tara Reid’s acting career die in peace.

      • Joe Beese

        July 2013:

        While the rest of us were tweeting about Sharknado, Sigourney Weaver was busy doing her Broadway show, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. In fact, she managed to avoid all news about the movie until Saturday afternoon, when we brought it up to her at the fifteenth annual pet adoption benefit Broadway Barks. In other words: We had the distinct pleasure of explaining Sharknado to Sigourney Weaver. And she reacted wonderfully.

        Did you watch Sharknado?

        What are you talking about? [Laughs.] Was there a shark attack?

        So you have not heard of Sharknado?

        Are they giving away sharks? Do I have to hold one?

        You might if you got stuck in a Sharknado. Any idea what that could possibly be?

        N-a-t-o?

        N-a-d-o.

        Is it a convention for sharks?

        It’s a movie, a made-for-TV movie, that you’re going to go home later and Google and wonder how you missed this since the Internet blew up about it. It’s a made-for-TV movie about shark tornadoes.

        Wow. Thousands of sharks swirling?

        Exactly.

        Oh. Uh-oh. That’s why it’s a nado. Wow. You know, my husband’s a body surfer from Hawaii and he won’t be happy about this idea.

        He might have already heard of it.

        No, I don’t think he has, actually. We would have talked about it. Does it happen way out at sea?

        It’s happening on land.

        So you mean it even looks like a shark?

        Yes.

        It’s like the Wizard of Oz gone mad?

        Essentially. People are loving it.

        It sounds like a crazy movie. People are out of their mind.

        Watch the trailer when you get home. There are hundreds of sharks in the tornado and people are trying to stab them as they are coming at them.

        So it’s not actually scary, it’s silly.

        Unintentionally, yes.

        Is it going to actually be on TV?

        It was. You’ll have a chance to still watch it, though.

        Now I can think of lots of nadoes to have.

        Like what?

        For every kind of animal. What did I just hold?

        That Yorkie?

        Yeah, a Yorkie-nado. [Laughs.]

        http://www.vulture.com/2013/07/vulture-tells-sigourney-weaver-about-sharknado.html

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      Oh, I’ve seen the video of when this happens. We used to have a rocket fuel plant down in Henderson. Shortly after the Challenger disaster, they had a fire which spread to all the stuff they were forced to store on-site. The resulting explosions leveled almost everything within a mile of the plant and even cracked windows at McCarran International Airport 7 miles away.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KuGizBjDXo

    • Mr. Blobfish

      Texas go BOOM!

  • weejee

    Faux Gnus is blaming the blah mayor for everything in Houston. In other news Shit4Brains Goobernor Greg Abbott wants state control over everything, except disasters. Then the locals are 100% in control.

    ffs, too, also.

    • Les Appentis De la résistance

      A blah mayor? I thought they had a lesbian mayor. It can’t be both.

      • Antonin Dvorak

        Lesbian mayor, Annise Parker, termed out last year.

  • I wonder if anyone in the White House is watching this and wondering if maybe some of those Obama regulations that they are busy dismantling might have actually been a good idea? (I now, I’ll show myself out now.)

  • …and the finger given, moves on.

  • Bright Bart

    yeah! just ask em what kind of toxic chemicals they have lying around. Don’t recognize the name just say “hey Mr Factory man that stuff won’t kill me right?”
    “oopsie doopsie says he, it might rabbit, it might.”

    • Joe Beese

      “Uh… is this facility safe?”
      “Well it ain’t getting any safer.”

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      Just drive up and have a neighborly chat and ask to see their MSDS sheets.
      ” L’IL lady, you wouldn’t understan’ that stuff anyway “

  • doktorzoom

    Screwy link bars fixed; no content changed but page is prettier if you reload browser…

    • OutOfOrbit

      OFFS

  • don’t talk about what it costs to fix, talk about how much it would have cost to prevent.

    • OutOfOrbit

      i wanna know both

      • as long as you don’t name names.

      • Panika MCD

        estimates are now at $160 billion for rebuilding.

        • OutOfOrbit

          sure, smrty-pants know-it-all

          • Panika MCD

            got it from a buddy at the TX AFL-CIO.

        • Covfefe

          You want to rebuild on a flood plain? That’s smart.

          • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

            Houston is the country’s 4th largest city…a bunch of money should go to prevention, but I think it’s worth rebuilding.

          • Panika MCD

            they did have a CAT 5 levee and a bunch of reservoirs. it’s just that the reservoirs overflowed.

          • Panika MCD

            it’s not all flood plain.

          • ahughes798

            I know, right? I felt the same way after Katrina….DON’T allow anyone to re-build there. It IS going to happen again, and will continue to happen. And when it happens the next time and the next, more lives will be lost, more human suffering, environmental damage, taxpayer dollars wasted, etc. What’s the definition of insanity, again?

        • Rags

          Bloomberg –

          “A House Republican aide said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has sufficient disaster relief funding for now. FEMA said it has $3.3 billion in the disaster relief fund as of Monday, which includes money that can be shifted from longer-term priorities.”

          • Panika MCD

            rebuilding is the long term of it.

          • Permit-holder Ron

            That isn’t even gonna pay for IMMEDIATE costs, never mind rebuilding anything.

        • bupkus231

          Undoubtedly, waaaay too low….

          • Panika MCD

            that’s why I said that was for now. it’s going to go up.

  • Rags

    My town approved a 300 unit apartment complex directly adjacent to industrially zoned land containing a chemical plant. And this is a generally blue, generally progressive Midwestern town hijacked by business-addicted local pols. Fortunately (?), the developers discovered that the land they wanted to build on was so contaminated by chemicals (big duh, next to 50 year old chemical plant ) that it would cost millions to remediate so they bailed.

    Take home lesson – get involved in local politics. It matters. (Sometimes – FWIW I was on the planning commission at the time but failed to get the damn thing rejected.)

    • VirginiaWackelpudding

      You know, a good once in a 1000 year flooding occurance would wash all that stuff clean out of the area! What’s your zip code?

      • Rags

        Won’t happen. Our mayor isn’t a lesbian.

        • Opalescent Riddles

          For now.

    • therblig

      my old hometown “discovered” (in the 90’s) that the football/track/baseball field on which countless schoolkids (myself included) was the former site (in the 20’s) of a chemical plant. for about 2 years it was fenced off, dug up, and remediated. in true blue nj.

      • ahughes798

        The town I live in now has an actual EPA Superfund site in it, which has never been remediated, to my knowledge. My part of town is on “city water,” that part of town(the older part) uses well water. So, the city decided it needed to build a 3rd well to supply that part of town. The EPA advised that they shouldn’t do that, the groundwater flow would come from directly under the Superfund site. They ignored the EPA, built the well, and guess what?! Everybody in that subdivision has been living on bottled water for years now.

        A couple of elections ago, there was a referenda item about piping in Lake Michigan water to the whole town. It would add $500 a year to everyone’s water bill. We voted against it, because at that time, Lake Michigan water levels were at all-time lows, and we felt it was a bad move, environmentally. The item passed, so now everyone will be on Lake Michigan water. They’re building a 2nd water tower now. People are not too SMRT here. Sometimes, I miss living in Chicago very much, fucked up as it is.

  • canes_pugnaces
    • eyelashviper

      Do they come with the MAGA logo?

      • Permit-holder Ron

        Mandatory $250 extra.

    • but wait.. if you call now.. you can double this offer – for an extra fee… and as an extra bonus, you get this grinder/chopper/slicer/grater/juicer plastic thingie free!

  • Covfefe

    Duffel blog is reporting that a US Navy destroyer just crashed into an office building in downtown Houston.

    • OutOfOrbit

      those things are hard to park

      • ahughes798

        Can you imagine trying to parallel park one of them?

        • Permit-holder Ron

          ‘We should have ordered the backup camera package.’

    • VirginiaWackelpudding

      Just when you thought you couldn’t get any farther from reality without shrooms, this happens.

  • Randy Riddle

    “Drown it in a bathtub. Suffocate it with caustic chemicals. Same difference…” – G. Norquist

  • Suttree

    This would have been cheap to prevent. Elevated steel platforms are not horribley expensive to build and install. Either Louisiana has stronger safety laws or they are smarter than Texans.

    • SayItWithWookies

      After Fukushima, you’d think every company that had backup generators got the idea that they should be way above an expected flood or tsunami.

      • VirginiaWackelpudding

        But they didn’t expect it. God would never!

        • Permit-holder Ron

          I can’t believe they’d think that. I mean, have you SEEN the place?
          – God

      • bbayliss

        Fukushima was warned. It made no difference.

  • arglebargle

    Just rub some dirt on it.

    • Crystalclear12

      Walk it off.

  • Ilgattomorte

    “You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, well, we do have chemicals or we don’t have chemicals.”

    This is a great idea. Me and the Mrs. regularly get together with the companies in our neighborhood. Merck is a stitch and great to be around. We often get together with ADM for dinner and everybody loves talking to Intel, because they’re just so smart.

    But, I have to say, we’ve grown apart from Ricoh and Xerox, because they have just become so monotonous and repetitive. Oh, and fuck Comcast. Comcast is a dick.

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      Even in Commie California local Hazmat teams will say “we’ve seen the MSDS sheets for what’s in your building. Should you have a fire, we won’t be going in to rescue anyone. Well be containing the mess so it doesn’t kill the rest of the community “

    • Thor222

      Any bets as to whether it’s illegal to compile the information and put it in an online database where just anyone can go read it?

  • OutOfOrbit

    Q: What-cha do in there?
    A: I dunno, i’m just a security guard.

  • goonemeritus

    “you get out and try not to be downwind”

    Seems like good general advice that is applicable to life in many “red States”

  • armed_bears
    • Joe Beese

      A face you can trust.

      • Permit-holder Ron

        To be after your bank account.

    • Michael R

      Stop making fun of Carrot Top

      • TJ Barke

        Carrot Top libel, sort of.

    • SomeBigRedDog

      He looks like Butthead’s less handsome brother.

    • P’jama Pahnts

      I saw him on a fox news clip once where they were trying like hell to get him to say there was a war on Christmas. He would not do it. I was actually a little impressed.

      • armed_bears

        True. Prosperity Gospel, however, is a little un-Jesusy, IMO.

    • laughingnome

      Too much lift in that face

    • ahughes798

      He looks like an idiot. He talks like an idiot. He behaves like a grifty idiot. Must be an idiot.

      • Wild Cat

        Plus he forgot to wipe the cum drool from his lower lip . . .

        • ahughes798

          Thanks for the laugh, Wild Cat!

  • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

    I was just thinking, if some civic minded person went around asking plants if they have dangerous explosive chemicals on the grounds….they’re *probably* going to get a visit from the FBI.

    Civic-minded muslims might be Gitmo’d.

    • OutOfOrbit

      purdy sure yer right about dat

  • Les Appentis De la résistance

    “If Crosby spills, crash and run.”

    Stills and Nash were not available for comment.

    • Joe Beese

      IIRC, SCTV did a bit where Bill Cosby, Beverly Sills, Johnny Cash, and Carl Jung were riding along in a truck together.

      You can see where this is going.

      • therblig

        Marrakech?

        • Permit-holder Ron

          <golf clap>

    • laughingnome

      Neil Young can put us down
      A Southern man don;t need him around anyhow

  • How about this, we all have mild strokes, and be too pre-occupied with the fear of our own death that we completely ignore this tragedy?

    • bbayliss

      Ordinarily you’re easy enough to ignore.
      I’m a stroke survivor, I’m fortunate in that I can still talk, word finding, memory, and walking are still a problem.
      A moment of reflection before you try to make one of your little jokes is advised.

      • I’m afraid I might offend someone if I think. Posing contrasts involving suffering is off limits in think world.

        Did you think about sending that to someone with ALS, paralyzed from the neck down?

        I thought “mild stroke” would absolve me of the cardinal sin of mentioning a disabling event.

        next time, I’ll use “fainting spell” – even if it dulls the sharpness of the point of being so selfish one can’t be bothered with thinking about the slings and arrows of *other* people’s misfortunes.

        • bbayliss

          Just go fuck yourself.

          • but… I have the moral high ground

  • Vincent Ricola

    There are only 2 things on my mind when I load my family into the old Dodge for our weekly Sunday morning drive – what flavor ice cream I should get at the local soda shop and all the chemical plants I’m going to stop at to question about which dangerous toxic substances they keep on site.

    • Augustus

      and you just know they’ll be so eager to provide that information to anyone that asks

      • Vincent Ricola

        And as a computer systems engineer with a few forgotten chemistry classes under her belt, I am pretty well-qualified to understand the answers they may give me.

        • I just figured it out – they’re making meth in there.

        • Augustus

          Right — Civil here

          What’s a cat-ion?

          • PubOption

            I’m not sure about the cat-ion, but I think a dog-ion might smooth out a Shar-Pei.

      • bupkus231

        That presumes that you could get past the entrance’s security guards ( that was a big thing after 9/11, beefing up security at critical facilities ).

  • we don’t need no fucking Army Corps of Engineers – the storm made enough Corpses.

  • Crystalclear12

    OK let me get this straight:
    I’m supposed to wander up to a Texas chemical factory and ask what they’re doing.

    Sounds like the beginning of a lifetime movie.

    • Life in a libertarian youniverse – “whatcha doin?”

      • laughingnome

        Show a little leg when you ask. It works better.

        • rounded closed toe low heeled patent leather shoes with simple strap, toe down, slowly rotating in front of you, hands clasped behind your back, head down looking up at your questioned.

          • SweetDeeKat

            Demure babydoll dress?

          • with crinkly petticoats

    • jesterpunk

      Sounds like a great way for DHS to pay a visit to your house and take you away for questioning.

      • Crystalclear12

        Double feature:
        Brave stance against the chemical company followed by a brave stance against the DHS!

    • Panika MCD

      people did it to fuck with Abbott during that election.

    • P’jama Pahnts

      Pretend you’re delivering a pizza

      • Up In Smoke O’hontas

        Candygram.

    • La forza del resistino

      Karen Silkwood’s neighborhood tour excursions.

    • MynameisBlarney

      Sounds like a Roger Corman movie.

      • BrianW

        Or the beginning of another “Toxic Avenger” movie from Troma.

        • MynameisBlarney

          Yes, that for sure, lol.

    • Suttree

      The husband gets shot and the wife is kidnapped?

      • Crystalclear12

        Husband shoots wife. Daughter is kidnapped.

  • SayItWithWookies

    Who knew you weren’t supposed to build houses below the waterline of a reservoir?

    Controversy has surrounded the placement of houses near Houston’s Barker and Addicks reservoirs — especially since floodwater overflowed the
    latter.
    “They allowed them to build homes inside the reservoir. And these homes are flooded — 2,500 homes are flooded, some of them up to 5 feet deep,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said Wednesday. “They built homes inside a lake.”
    And those homes “will be inundated for several weeks,” said Jeff Lindner with Harris County Flood Control.

    I — I — oh, fuck it.

    • Bobathonic

      FREEEEEDUMB!

    • laughingnome

      Guvmint can stay our of it. Amirite?

    • MynameisBlarney

      This is what libertarianism provides.
      Deregulate every-GODDAMN-thing and if it kills people so fuckin’ what, because, freedom.

    • La forza del resistino

      All the TX zoning commissioners died at the Alamo with Davey Crockett.

      • MynameisBlarney

        You’d think they’d have remembered that.

    • Beanz&Berryz

      The water hardly ever gets that high…

  • laughingnome

    Better living through chemistry

    • Permit-holder Ron

      For a while, anyway.

  • bupkus231

    Not to wish ill on those nearby residents ( who have been evacuated ), but I sincerely hope that plant goes kablooey.

    Of course, as West, TX showed us, that won’t mean a fucking thing to the “businessmen” who insist that regulations AND enforcement aren’t needed – after all, THEY haven’t been blown up….

    • Suttree

      We need laws that make owners live on-site. They might give a damn then.

  • Professor Fate

    Well once again this proves that there is nothing that greed can’t make worse.

    • Joe Beese

      It’s not classified as a deadly sin for nothing.

  • La forza del resistino

    ‘a skeleton crew of 11 workers … ‘ doesn’t sound good. certainly their Union shop steward was alerted. oh, wait what Union ?

    • did they call them up from hell?

      • puredog

        They just dialled “Wights Willing to Work.”

  • Mr. Blobfish

    ♫ I’m goin’ back some day, come what may, to blew up bayou ♫

  • Haw Haw Haw… I bet them libbats are mad as a nest a’ hornets in a paint bucket shaker!

  • Skeptical_thinker
    • armed_bears

      Yeah, but…. Blonde. Tits. Vacuous? That’s the Fox trifecta.

    • P’jama Pahnts

      Oh, shit, I thought she was going away.

    • So they found a younger, blonder Sarah Palin?

    • therblig

      and the fuckheads fap

    • Amelia Resists and Persists

      I mean, she once said she believed in a woman’s right to choose, so OBVIOUSLY she’s the new liberal diversity hire.

      Just like all their other “democrats” they keep around to pretend they’re not the Trump Blowjob Channel.

  • Terpsichord

    The most bone chilling thing I ever read was scientific projections about what becomes of Houston after a cataclysmic event in which all humans theoretically disappear. Read “the World Without Us” by Alan Weisman. Strangely, the book in its entirety left me feeling at peace. I think I reached the conclusion that humans are such fuck ups, the world IS better off without us.

    • Joe Beese

      It’s a good book with an interesting thought experiment. But we aren’t going to simply disappear. We might all drop dead of Captain Trips, of course, but then there are going to be millions of unburied corpses on the ground, an all-you-can-eat buffet for breeding insects, and then things will get… interesting in different kinds of ways.

      • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

        the bugs will inherit the earth – someday.

        • SpideySenser

          See “Helstrom Chronicle”
          Yes, they are.

          • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

            I read this book abotu life surviving, “Scatter, Adapt and Remember” or something.

            It was pretty simplistic, which is fine with me as I don’t science gud, but also interesting in big chunks.

          • SpideySenser

            Me no science genius neither no way no how. But I will look into that. I need science explained to me as if I were 3 years old. I’ve been thinking about tackling NDT’s “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry for People in a Hurry”.

        • kareemachan
          • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

            ha! I knew it was going to be tardigrades.

            Interesting little buggers.

  • MynameisBlarney

    Today in “Fuck it! Let’s just nuke the whole fuckin’ planet now and get it over with!” News.

    https://www.democraticunderground.com/10141856232

  • TheFamilyThalamusPersists

    If not for the content of this article, the following line would have made me wet myself:
    “Crosby spills, crash and run.”

    • Beanz&Berryz

      And if not for this call-out, I’d have missed that reference…

  • P’jama Pahnts

    OK, so the last two articles were not about Trump. Are you trying to distract us? What is he up to? What did he break while we weren’t watching him?

    • Panika MCD

      the people of TX thank you for referring to us as a distraction.

    • Vincent Ricola

      He’s probably exhausted from having to fake concern about rain in Texas and is off napping somewhere.

    • cmd resistor

      He’s supposed to go to Missouri to give a talk about his tax plan. Springfield, I think.

      • Covfefe

        Trump won Missouri. Bigly. Not many people know that.

  • Resistance Fighter Astraea

    Frustratingly, the ATF’s determination that the fire at the fertilizer plant was set deliberately led to many process safety professionals and industry people deciding that meant the drive for tougher regulations after the explosion were all a waste, and they took it as an example of government overreach.

    • OutOfOrbit

      so arson is not ever a prob’

  • Panika MCD

    for those thinking about going to the shelter to adopt an evacuated TX pet:

    I just saw that the St. Louis shelter plans to immediately start adopting out evacuated animals. if you are thinking about this PLEASE FOSTER. many of the animals are chipped and were evacuated because not all shelters can take pets so that those with allergies have a place to go. shelters in TX are only fostering out these animals as many are planned to be reunited with their families.

  • Joe Beese
    • Permit-holder Ron

      OTOH, every time he has an accident on the kitchen floor…

  • OrG

    The poor idiots who think in terms of “job-killing gubmint regulations” need to be taught what actual government regulations are.
    Yeah, I know. Good luck.

    • stumpknocker

      but, but, but Obama is playing golf and Michelle is a man.

      • armed_bears

        If Michelle is a man, I am officially bi-curious.

  • Permit-holder Ron

    ‘Crosby spills, crash and run.’? Now you’re just messing with us, Dok.

    • yyyaz

      Deja Vu.

      • Serai 1

        Carry On, now.

  • jesterpunk

    Serious question, I know its too late to discuss what they should have done or could have done. But can FEMA or the EPA or the military or someone go in and move those chemicals someplace safer where they can be kept cool so they dont explode?

    • OutOfOrbit

      you wanna sign up for that mission?

      • jesterpunk

        No but I know the military has people trained to safely work with hazardous materials like that and assume other groups do too.

        • kareemachan

          But they’d basically have to keep things cold, and when you’re moving things out from somewhere, you gotta open a few doors…

    • stumpknocker

      at this point there is a really good chance they could be killed trying.

    • OrG

      Commie.

      • why should I pay taxes so that those scofflaws get a free ride? What happened to personal responsibility?

    • Panika MCD

      there are response teams in various areas of the country that specialize in different types of toxins. I’m assuming that there are some on the way.

      • jesterpunk

        Thanks, that sounds better then letting them sit and possibly explode in an uncontrolled manner.

        • Panika MCD

          well, you have to get the right team and it depends on what part of the country they are in. if they’re in Houston, they may be hard to locate right now. if they’re in New Jersey, they may be hard to get in.

    • if it costs money, Republicans will be reluctant to act rashly.

  • Joe Beese
    • bbayliss

      Just try it.

    • Skeptical_thinker

      That’s going to piss off a lot of Texans.

      • Amelia Resists and Persists

        I bet Ted Cruz is all for it, though.

      • No.. no.. they *like* it.

      • Who will still vote R because reasons.

    • To be fair, that wall will be an ecological and financial disaster, so paying for it out of a disaster fund makes a certain twisted kind of sense. And we all know that turtle boy is pretty damn twisted.

    • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

      priorities!

      ye gods.

    • OrG

      Not anymore.

    • Amelia Resists and Persists

      I am staring into the abyss, mourning the death of irony.

    • kareemachan

      And drumpster’s back to blathering about tax cuts.

    • jesterpunk

      But if they build a wall then the flood water will be contained in a giant pool.

      • we’re already having trouble with the ocean getting deeper.

    • MynameisBlarney

      If they insist on attempting that at this point, they will very likely be looking for new jobs in 2018.

      • Joe Beese

        If history has taught us anything, it’s the limitless ability of the Republican electorate to vote against their interests.

        (Cuz Liberal Elites, y’know.)

    • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

      i know it’s obvious, but – rebuilding Houston will get people back working and buying and putting money into the local and national economy.

      That fucking wall will do nothing to generate anything – other than a few big dollar contractors.

      • jesterpunk

        Yes but how much of the money for rebuilding Houston will go into Trump’s pocket?

        • Republicans wouldn’t hold him to account, as long as he fucks shit up.

      • Skeptical_thinker

        And lots of profits for the Mexican cement factories.

      • Serai 1

        WRONG. It will generate an enormous hard-on for Twitler, and that’s more important than anything else!

    • Permit-holder Ron

      Nice timing.

  • BrianW
  • kareemachan

    I sound like a stuck record, and it’s a tad out of date, but read ‘Texas on the Brink’, which lists all the ways TX is shittier than shitty when it comes to environment, eduction, health, infrastructure, etc, etc, etc. Funny thing is that the study was discontinued under Guv Goodhair….

  • puredog

    “Better go missin’ when the chemplants start hissin’!”

  • MynameisBlarney
    • jesterpunk

      “If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot right now.”

    • Vincent Ricola

      Like there was any doubt. Russia only programmed him to know so many tremendous words.

      • jesterpunk

        Did you know he had the bigliest electoral college win ever and yuge crowds at his inauguration?

        • only he can command the water’s edge…. you may go thus far, and no further.

    • stumpknocker

      just what texas needs right now, president obvious, thank God for trump or the nation would think this was just a spring shower.

    • stroke? omfg..

      dude!!

    • Panika MCD

      there were a number of people in that Corpus Christi crowd holding signs that told him to go fuck himself.

      • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

        yay! Proud of you Corpus folks – I was disappointed to see that other shit yesterday.

  • Panika MCD

    if you have Hilton points (whatever those are) you can donate them to house flood victims. if you have Southwest Airlines points, you can donate those too (don’t know how they’re converting them, but they go to the Red Cross).

    • Jenny

      Hopefully they will use them to buy plane tickets for first responders.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      But, but … I have almost enough points for a weekend in Paris!

      • Panika MCD

        you can donate half and have a weekend in Paris, TX.

        • Biel_ze_Bubba

          You may have missed the gag there.

          • Panika MCD

            you may have missed mine.

  • MynameisBlarney
    • jesterpunk

      Hey Eric, remember all the times your family attacked Obama for everything you could when he was president including the birther bullshit? Yeah go fuck yourself.

    • Skeptical_thinker

      Eric Trump says his father ‘tunes out’ criticism so he doesn’t commit suicide ‘out of depression’

      I’ll buy Trump a hearing aid, if it would help him.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        ““It’s the media, the mainstream media, who does not want him to succeed. It’s government who does not want him to succeed.”

        If Il Douche stopped trying to do such shitty things, maybe he wouldn’t have that problem. Ever think of that, Eric? (Eric never thought of that.)

    • foreign agitator Captain Kraut

      Unfortunately, a hurt narcissism, alleged suicidal tendencies and the nuclear codes make for an unholy trinity.

    • Serai 1

      Well, boo-fucking-hoo. Tell him to go to a shrink. He’s got enough fucking money for one.

      KARMA, MOTHERFUCKER.

  • Permit-holder Ron

    Don’t mess with Texas. Because it might blow up.

  • Amelia Resists and Persists

    OT: Trump spawn says Donnie “tunes out criticism so he doesn’t commit suicide out of depression” and other source says his mood “worse than ever.” (both @ RawStory)

    Well fuck, dude, if only there were something you could do to solve this problem and go home.

  • ez

    Tangential question: When will Texas or Journalists put on their shock faces and test the flood waters for ‘errant’ chemical contamination…and drinking water as well?

    • They’ll just laugh and say “give that there water to the liberals”

      • Panika MCD

        that’s not funny.

        • only if you’re a liberal.

          • Panika MCD

            really, the general TX bashing is annoying usually. right now it’s hurtful.

          • I’m a Texan, it’s allowed in our constitution.

          • Panika MCD

            know anyone headed to the Wharton area? trying to get a person on dialysis evacuated.

          • I don’t know anyone involved in a relief effort.

          • Panika MCD

            how is that possible?

          • let’s see… I’ll illustrate.

            what is the probability that one point on an airplane tire will land at exactly one predefined point on the tarmac?

            zero.

            what is the probability that one point on an airplane tire landed on exactly one point on the tarmac?

            100%

          • Panika MCD

            most everyone I know is involved in some way.

          • what are the odds you don’t know anyone going to Wharton?

          • Panika MCD

            trying to direct some rednecks there.

          • buy them a nuvi.

          • Serai 1

            Jesus, could you stop being a jerk and just answer her questions? Fuck.

          • No, I couldn’t…. wait!

            I *did*

          • Notreelyhelping

            If it’s any consolation, I’ve been fighting off a profound depression that comes when thinking about how much I liked Corpus Christi and how beautiful I found Padre Island.

    • Beanz&Berryz

      A typical major problem with flooding is contamination of almost all parts of water systems, with sewage at the least, leaking fuel tanks in cars and at gas stations… Water systems are almost always contaminated, even without much chemical industry around…

      • ez

        Agreed. Decades of phantom emissions, spills and leakage in the Chemical Industry of the area. How many different materials will be discovered with analysis…and of that list, how many will match up with the California Prop 65 list?

        • Beanz&Berryz

          AOT,K

  • Hemp Dogbane

    “If Crosby spills, crash and run.”
    Helplessly hoping.

    • Amy!

      … her harlequin hoverboard is full of eels?

      • Hemp Dogbane

        Close enough!

  • stupid is bigger in Texas.

  • Panika MCD

    Mayor Turner telling FEMA to remove the red tape so they can resume city services by Tuesday:

    https://www.facebook.com/houstonmayor/videos/10155324580842535/

  • MynameisBlarney
    • covfefesumgame0005

      yeah, it’s not like the lines are overloaded or that water and communications equipment work badly together…

  • ez

    Mr Trump is King Cannot, commanding the flood waters recede. It didn’t work for King Canute either.

    • Cat Cafe of the Subpoenas

      Wasn’t it King Cnut? A far more appropriate name for him

  • MynameisBlarney
    • The Librarian

      Looks bad on MSNBC. Even there $ walks over the talk.

      • HooverVilles

        Even there $ walks over the talk.

        $ walks over the talk at every for profit corporate personage, some more than others but none the less at every for profit corporate personage.

    • Kooolest G

      to be fair, it probably is hard to get a good connection and make sure your mic is working in a hurricane.

  • whitroth

    Ah, yeah, right, drop by (during working hours), and I’m sure a manager will drop everything to have a friendly chat with you.

    Btw, Wonketteers, y’all know what an MSDS is, and can read them, right?

    • Beanz&Berryz

      If the guard at the gate doesn’t shoot you, if you look … wrong… to be asking such things…

    • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

      Ex-chemist here with chemist husband and one of the offspring’s a firefighter. Currently damn glad he’s not a Texas firefighter. Abbott needs to fuck himself with a fifty-five gallon drum of peroxided votes.

      • whitroth

        I have a hard science background, and my late wife was a lab tech. When we had a flood in the basement (washer that didn’t shut off) 20 years ago, and the insurance paid for cleanup and mold treatment, the guy was boggled when she asked for the MSDS for the chemical.

        The rest of you Wonketteers, learn what a Materials Safety Data Sheet is, and how to read it. You will NOT regret it.

        • Dartemus

          Good advice, I read them because you can’t get straight information off the product labels anymore.

  • The Librarian

    Of course, these companies would be held criminally liable in any state with decent regs. Even so, the penalties are often a wrist slap compared to the $ the companies make. It’s really tough on the people they hurt.

  • SadDemInTex
  • SadDemInTex

    I hadn’t heard about going and asking the company if the plant would go ‘splody. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3dcc43a054cbf17a8319967cd51890d62707338eede0c1b95d70d3380d981bd6.jpg

    • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

      Nope. Do. Not. Want. This is the one with Spanish Fly on it. This album was when my parents’ stopped letting us listen to Cosby’s records.
      Fun fact ~ as a black person over 50 how old they were when they first heard Spanish Fly and realized that Cosby is a pervert. I am 55 and I was 9 when I snuck the album out of my parents’ hiding place and listened to it. My brother, who is 51, was 13. My brothers who aren’t 50 yet were unaware when we discussed it at a tailgate last year.
      If you are interested, listen here. Just wear your mental hazmat suit. And Cosby has given many interviews trying to defend this BS over the years also too.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAorIG6MZnc

      • SadDemInTex

        I saw the album in a window in Brevard, NC. I assumed it was a ironic statement. Now you are scaring me…so this is when everyone actually knew. Crap.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        Dang – that used to be funny. Today, yeah, not so much.

      • gear shift humor

      • Amy!

        Errrrr. I’m sorry, Cynmac, but … numbers!

        55 – 9 = 46

        51 – 13 = 38

        I think your brother must have been five (if he’s 51 now), or if he was thirteen, then he’s fifty-nine now?

        Or you heard it and different times, and your brother got to it when you were seventeen?

        I know, I shouldn’t say anything, but I can’t not. Sorry. :-/

        • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

          We heard it at different times.

  • Serai 1

    There’s also that fun depository of infectious diseases in the area that could be trashed, as well, letting out all manner of entertaining plagues. Good times!

    • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

      Huh, what? Where? Who?

      • Serai 1

        It was mentioned here just yesterday. Apparently there’s a facility that stores infectious diseases, and it’s in danger of the same kind of problems with ITS electrical system. Meaning all those lovely bugs could wriggle their way out into all that nice stinky water!

  • Grokenstein

    You’d think Big-Gubbermint-Regulation-Free Paradise would be used to massive explosions by now.

  • sgt. jmk of the résistance

    I’m sure it’s been said already, but Dok, I salute you for “SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN. If Crosby spills, crash and run.”

    Just… perfect.

  • Marla

    It’s all about the deregulation. Another chemical plant explosion which will fill the air with sorts of cancerous toxicities? That’ll teach those god damn Commie liberals.

    • But at least it won’t be those obummer chemtrails.

  • cats530

    Why is it that on-your-own rugged individualists (corporations are people too!) are the first to ask for socialist bailouts?

    • covfefesumgame0005

      the CEO is having intense orgasms thinking about the insurance payout!

  • When Texans say “Don’t mess with Texas,” they forget to add “because we’re messing ourselves just fine.”

  • This reminds me! Stranger Things is returning soon!

  • richardgrabman

    More scary are the infectious disease labs at the tropical medicine center in Galveston. If the power goes out…

    • Yellerduck

      Yep. The average, everyday climate in Galveston is pretty much the same as the inside of an incubator. Anything that gets out will thrive.

  • “If Crosby spills, crash and run.”

    I’d turn my back man and put it in overdrive.

    • mailman27

      ISWYDT. Nice!

  • Ray in VT

    Bless the unregulated, free market, which always produces the best outcomes, unlike the surely unconstitutional dictates of freedom stealing gub’mint.

    • Keith Taylor

      Amen.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    Hey, i’s not as if those containers will get warm sitting in the Texas sun.

    Oh, wait…

  • Zyxomma

    Gevalt.

    • covfefesumgame0005

      not to mention a few Oy’s…

  • covfefesumgame0005

    as I said on another blog, this is as good a design job as the Fukishima reactor…

  • Keith Taylor

    Former Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sounds helpful. Not unlike the Vogon official’s response to Earth’s howls of protest as the planet was being demolished to make way for an interstellar bypass. “What do you mean you weren’t told about this, Earth? The announcement has been posted for years in the Alpha Centauri Office. It’s only four light years away, you know.”

  • Vel Venturi

    This is what I’ve been worrying about for the past few days.

  • unregulated chemical plant

    those words should never be found on the same line of text.

  • Hey, i’s not as if those containers will get warm sitting in the Texas sun.
    ——
    like Texans heads.

  • 3FingerPete

    You can have my chemicals when you take them from my bubbling, melting hands!

  • dshwa

    Charlie Pierce had an excellent review of the several pending disasters. http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a57276/harvey-longterm-effects/

    • SeeTrain65

      Natch.

    • mailman27

      Charlie Pierce is pretty excellent in general. He’s funny as hell, mercilessly accurate regarding his targets and his command of the language comes in like a fucken auger. He could say it 100X better than me is what I’m sayin’. Runs circles around Douthat, Dowd &etc.

  • Sharon Cooper

    Fuck. Just…fuck.

  • SeeTrain65

    If regulations chill innovation, maybe you could use your precious chilled innovation to stop the place from going up in a massive fireball, guys.

    Right now, I’d take a few extra regulations over a large bomb crater and several dead people.

  • TundraGrifter

    Mrs. Robinson’s leg was played by Linda Gray.

  • Harvey is shaping up to be a uniquely Republican sort of disaster, with its combination of climate change-fueled rain, nonexistent zoning regulations in flood-prone areas, and now this splodey ‘splosion thing…

  • Celtic_Gnome

    There is a supplement that can be added to the chemicals to negate the ability of a chemical reaction should it rise above thirty degrees, but it makes the products unusable. Obviously, they didn’t use these ingredients. Did they not have them on hand because the government doesn’t require it, or did they have them and gambled on the storm not being that bad so they didn’t lose their inventory?

  • Viktor

    Gregg Abbott seems to think chemical companies welcome nosy neighbors and strangers dropping on in to ask questions about what they manufacture. The sole reason chemical companies have a front porch, with rocking chairs and lemonade, in case visitors stop by.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba
  • Lilliansmercurio

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!!!
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four
    weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    >>>http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash300TopSky/GetPay$97/Hour..

    • thixotropic jerk

      Marg I don’t forgive you for spamming us so take that new Land Range Rover Rover and have longer most-financialy rewarding elsewheres!

  • City of H8

    Go to your favorite search engine, and look up “Texas City Disaster”, right after WWII, as part of the Marshall Plan, a big freighter ship was being loaded with bags of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. A fire broke out, and to make a long story short, two ships exploded in the harbor, 600+ people were killed instantly, and the force of the explosion hurled a ship’s anchor a mile away. BUT, this bit of history is rarely mentioned and NEVER taught in schools, because we don’t want people to think chemicals are dangerous.

Previous articleGodly Christians Reassure A Troubled America That Jesus Still Totally Hates Fags
Next articleIdiots: Hurricane Harvey Caused By Lesbians Witches Katy Perry Abortion Illuminati And Democrats, But NOT CLIMATE CHANGE!!1!