It’s amazing what you find when you Google Crosby. Or Bing Crosby.

Who in the world would have guessed that the owners of the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, have a big pile of recent OSHA safety violations and also lobbied — with help from Texas Republican, of course — against more stringent safety rules? You know the plant — it’s the one with a little ol’ problem with its volatile chemicals spontaneously catching fire and exploding after flooding knocked out refrigeration.

A chemical plant in Texas was fined for being unsafe, and lobbied to stay that way? Prithee, pardon us whilst we arise from the floor, whence this feather hath knocked us most cruelly.

Let’s talk OSHA violations first, shall we? In an August 2016 inspection, the Crosby plant was found to have 10 serious violations, such as:

inaccurate piping diagrams, inadequate training, insufficient equipment inspection, insufficient equipment testing and failure to maintain equipment safety systems.

The case was closed in May of this year, and while OSHA initially fined Arkema over $100,000, the company was able to reduce what they paid to $91,724 by complying with OSHA directives to clean up their act, according to The Daily Beast. OSHA wouldn’t speculate as to whether the violations had anything to do with the storage of organic peroxides, the chemicals that caught fire this week. As you’ll recall, several systems failed — first the municipal power went out, then the plant’s backup generators were flooded, and then the small crew of workers who stayed with the plant moved the chemicals into nine diesel-powered refrigerated trailers, which also ended up getting flooded.

Oh, and last year wasn’t the only time the plant had trouble, either:

Arkema and its Crosby facility have racked up over a dozen violations and “informal enforcement actions” over safety and environmental problems over the past five years, according to records from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In other words, a good corporate citizen in Texas, trying its hardest to stay competitive while struggling under the burden of job-killing federal regulations. Heck, they had all those “violations” over five years, but until there was a catastrophic flood, nothing exploded, so obviously they were doing OK, now weren’t they?

Besides, Arkema is very, very concerned about safety, and to prove it, it signed on to the American Chemical Council’s “Responsible Care” program, a voluntary chemical-industry set of safety standards. Wouldn’t you know it, though, shrill outsiders, who don’t think self-policing is a great idea for industries dealing with toxic stuff, have criticized the program, saying it’s mostly a public relations smokescreen — and please don’t test the contents of that smoke:

A 2015 report by the Center for Effective Government focused on Arkema and six other Responsible Care-compliant chemical plants, and found that those plants sometimes led the nation in safety violations, according to a compilation of government inspection records from 2012 to 2014. During that time period, Arkema racked up 78 violations at its various U.S. plants, the report found.

As we noted yesterday, Arkema CEO Richard Rowe refused to release the company’s federally mandated “Tier II” inventory of chemicals stored at the plant, because under Texas regulations the company no longer has to make that information public. And in a presser this morning, Arkema’s vice president for manufacturing, engineering and regulatory services, Daryl Roberts, explained that apart from a list of chemicals posted to its website, no further details, like the amounts or how they’re stored, could be released. Why not? <em>The risk of terrorism. Dude. We think we know who’s threatening the community with chemical weapons already.

Roberts repeated what the company and local officials have said for days: The remaining trailers are likely to burn, and maybe experience some overpressure on the containers (don’t call it an explosion!) as the fuel runs out in the trailers’ refrigeration units, and it’s too dangerous to try to go in and do anything but let the chemicals combust, possibly explode vigorously oxidize, and burn themselves out.

So there’s your safety violations! How about that lobbying? David Sirota covered that Thursday in the International Business Times, and it’s exactly what you’d expect from a chemical company in the Age of Trump: Arkema and its industry association, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) — home of “Responsible Care” — lobbied hard to get the Trump administration to block the implementation of tougher EPA rules set to go into effect after being formulated by the Obama administration. Not that much persuasion was really needed, since “Obama administration EPA rules” was enough to merit being rolled back, but the chemical industry and its pals in the Texas Republican delegation were more than happy to point out which regulations would be the job-killingest. It’s that sort of public-private cooperation that will make America toxic again.

The EPA said its enhanced safety rules would “seek to improve chemical process safety, assist local emergency authorities in planning for and responding to accidents, and improve public awareness of chemical hazards at regulated source.” But that might have been inconvenient for profitability, so the new rules were put on hold by Trump’s EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, before they could go into effect back in March.

Sirota outlines some of the lobbying done by Arkema and the ACC:

In May of 2016, Arkema sent a letter to the EPA criticizing the proposed rule. One part of the letter said the rule’s requirement of independent risk management audits “will likely add significant new costs and burdens to the corporate audit process.” The company also took issue with the rule’s “Safer Technology and Alternatives Analysis” (STAA) requirements.

Those provisions would have required that companies consider using “inherently safer technology” that would encourage companies to “substitute less hazardous substances” and encourage firms to “simplify covered processes in order to make accidental releases less likely or the impacts of such releases less severe.”

Burdensome! Burdensome! cried the poor chemical company, falling back on some time-honored anti-regulatory shibboleths like “no consensus methodology” and claims that a single regulatory standard would be ever so unfair to companies with lots of individual needs and practices.

The American Chemistry Council also lobbied Congress with similar pleas to protect it from capricious government regulation, which might not really make anything safer but would certainly drive up costs:

“The lack of identifiable and quantifiable benefits stands in stark contrast to the clear costs associated with this rule,” said the letter. “Whether it be the requirement of third-party auditor participation that will reduce the pool of qualified auditors, changing well-established audit procedures already designed to maximize safety effectiveness, or imposing ineffective requirements to consider ‘inherently safer technology/design,’ the final rule includes a litany of costly changes that have not been shown to increase safety.”

Cruel, cruel regulators gonna kill all the jobs and nobody’s proven beyond doubt that stricter standards are really safer standards, so please let us do what we want, OK? So of course, Pruitt said OK and now the chemical industry is doing a great job, except for the occasional freakish flood that could never be predicted, so please stop making a big deal out of this, you tree-huggers.

Sirota’s tale of lobbying embuggerance of environmental and safety protection is well worth reading in full; we would note one minor demurral from Houston Chronicle reporter Matt Dempsey, who’s covered the Texas chemical industry for years. On “Democracy Now!” Friday, Dempsey said Sirota’s piece was excellent, but he also wanted to point out that it’s not exactly “a hard push to convince politicians in the state of Texas to do what the chemical industry in Texas wants them to do.” Point taken.

And so we go into the weekend with a forecast of no more rain in Crosby, with scattered chemical explosions and regulatory rollbacks. Might want to keep an eye out for any Groupon deals on full-face filter masks. It’s worth getting a good one.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click that “Donate” linky and ignore that funny plasticky smell. We’re sure it’s nothing.

[KPRC / Daily Beast / Bloomberg / International Business Times]

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  • Snopes Shop

    We are so utterly fucked.

  • Ryan Denniston

    “As you’ll recall, several systems failed —
    first the municipal power went out, then the plant’s backup generators
    were flooded, and then the small crew of workers who stayed with the
    plant moved the chemicals into nine diesel-powered refrigerated
    trailers, which also ended up getting flooded.”

    Also too, they’re supposed to have a batch of neutering chemicals in place to eliminate the possibility of explosions. Except we’re dealing with Texas, and in Texas, high crimes include threatening the product. So, no chemicals to avert explosions.

    • willi0000000

      gotta pick one and can’t make up my mind.

      and in flood conditions, they loaded chemicals into refrigerated trailers . . . not to be driven away to a high-ground place with access to diesel fuel.

      and in flood conditions, they loaded chemicals into refrigerated trailers . . . some of which had the refrigeration units mounted below the chassis . . . you know . . . where the water is.

  • ManchuCandidate

    “Let’em eat toxic waste.”

    -Emil Antonowsky aka Toxic Waste Guy from Robocop aka spokesperson for the State of Tejas GOP.

  • chascates

    “We’re from the government and we’re not here to help.”

    • msanthropesmr

      Help the citizens that is…

  • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

    good lord – the EPA is so small and has such little bite as it is – and they want MOAR.

    (Fun fact, David Sirota went to high school with the guy who started “The Goldbergs” tv show. There’s an episode that features him – at the end they show sirota on the daily show or colbert show, I forget.)

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    My initial loathing of Republicans grew out of the realization that they only cared about co$t$ in the early seventies. It has multiplied a thousandfold since then.

  • chascates

    Nobody thought the water would get that high. Nobody thought the generators would fail. Nobody thought . . .

  • Jamoche

    Dok: you’ve got some dangling HTML around “<em> The risk of terrorism.”

    • Ryan Denniston

      Dangling is approved of here I think.

      • puredog

        Tru dat. It’s like a coding dick joke.

  • jesterpunk


    Dumbfucking republicans who broke government.

  • Ryan Denniston
  • dslindc

    OT: If it’s white smoke, habemus document distructionem!

    • jesterpunk

      Does that mean they “retired” another ambassador and nominated a new one?

      • dslindc

        Or that the old one is going to be “Ambassador Emeritus” and live at the country house until he dies. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • elviouslyqueer

      Obvious video should be obvious.

    • Jon Sussex

      OMG save the pee hooker tapes!

    • Creepoman

      And the time stamp is about three hours too early for the established afternoon session.

  • Jamoche

    Fucking fuckers took exactly the wrong lesson from West. Dammit, West is a state treasure – all good Texans know you have to stop there every time you drive through and get kolaches.

    • cmd resistor

      I would go there to get kolaches. I keep reading about them.

    • DerrickWildcat

      Want Kolaches, come to Nebraska.

      • Jamoche

        Still a long way from San Francisco. OTOH, I don’t think Nebraska has given me any reason to boycott it.

        • DerrickWildcat

          Lots of Czechs in Nebraska. Highest percentage of any state. The nickname of the area north of Lincoln is called the Bohemian Alps.

          • cmd resistor

            My Czech ancestors went to Chicago, then the Milwaukee area. I never thought of them being out west. Apparently there are a lot in Iowa, too?

          • DerrickWildcat

            Look at the link I posted above. Scroll down and there is a map of percentage of Czech. Yes quite a few in Iowa but nothing like Nebraska.

          • cmd resistor

            I see some Wisconsins, too. Not necessarily where my dad lived, but I think there were at least a group of them in West Allis. I kept scrolling to the list of festivals. Some day it would be fun to take a tour of them.

          • mailman27

            No need to rhapsodize about it.

      • cmd resistor

        My dad was 1/2 Czech but it was on his dad’s side and I never met the generation that probably made them. I have a friend whose mom makes them. It is amazing how many places have kolache festivals. The one time I was in the sw area of Texas I was surprised to learn there were Czech people there. There were billboards for bakeries and car dealers with Czech names.

        • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

          Shiner Bock is a czech style beer that a lot of texans (including me) love and is based here.

        • DerrickWildcat

          Yeah there are a lot of Czechs in Texas.

          • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

            germans too – part of the westward expansion.

            We learned about it (a little more) in immigration class last week.

            We had a true open border policy as we’d just made the louisiana purchase and taken lands that used to belong to mexico. We needed people to go out there and clear and settle it and fight indians and stuff.

          • DerrickWildcat

            Nebraska is mostly Bohunk, Kraut, Polack and Swede

          • willi0000000

            any Czechs-Mex down there?

    • chortlingdingo

      Yum yum, Czech Stop.

  • elviouslyqueer

    Because nothing says “Responsible Chemical Care” like shit actually blowing up.

    • willi0000000

      well . . . there is mass poisoning.

  • jesterpunk
  • OT: sorry but i have to vent (ACA update). Just got off a call with my IL team. We had a federal grant that was signed 3 months ago with budgets and employee numbers and enrollment targets all due to start 9/1 (and this is year 3 of a 3 year contract).

    Last night at 4:30, CMS abrogated the contracts and is ‘reworking’ them. We are in a holding pattern and on forced vacation til wednesday when we’ll get an ‘update’. Everyone is expecting more cuts.

    I want to throw large breakable things at the next republican i see.

    • Ryan Denniston

      This crap sucks. These people are evil.

    • Snopes Shop


    • Mpeg


    • Oblios_Cap

      Contracts are just “guidelines”.

      • willi0000000

        signed contracts more so.

    • willi0000000

      the best thing to throw at a republican is another republican.

  • MynameisBlarney

    OT; but…
    Smoke seen pouring from Rooshan Consulate in SF.

    • Snopes Shop

      holy shit

    • There are a lot of pee hooker tapes they need to incinerate before they leave.

      • MynameisBlarney

        I doubt that’s what they’d be burning if they had them.
        Unless they were copies.

    • BigCSouthside

      I wouldn’t get too worked up. Likely SOP when this kinda thing happens.

      • MynameisBlarney

        Not sure how often they get kicked out of their consulate buildings.

        • BigCSouthside

          I highly doubt it’s anything nefarious. Stupid mundane daily procedure manuals and policies could be considered “secret”. My firm considers anything with even a hint of company proprietary info on it to be something that must be destroyed after use, and we aren’t guarding state secrets.

    • Creepoman

      For chrissakes, I thought everyone learned to put a towel across the bottom of the door in college.

  • Well, and I don’t want to sound insensitive, but maybe they should stop voting for the GOP assholes who continually enable companies to do this shit and get away with it.

    • kaydenpat


    • BearGHAZI

      Sir, you have the boorish manner of a San Franciscan. Apologize forthwith!

      • redarmyzombie

        In the spirit and parlance of a native San Franciscan: *breathes deep*

        Kiss my ass, you motherfucking cocksucker!


    • MynameisBlarney

      But The GHEY VAGENDA!

    • Persistent Demme

      One of the reasons I would NEVER live, (let alone visit) there.

    • BigCSouthside

      Look man. I know these here chemicals is dangerous and all, but goddammit! Queers is gettin married like they real people!

      • Major_Major_Major

        And wimmin kin git ‘borshuns whenever they want’em. Damn who-oors.

    • therblig

      but jerbs!!!

    • whitroth

      Some of them would like to… if they hadn’t been suppressed from voting, or gerrymandered into useless.

      • Good_Gawd_Yall

        See, that’s the same problem I have living in KY. There are actually some of us who would prefer not to have Mitch and Rand representing us, or Governator JeebusBevin, but we’re outnumbered by the mouth-breathers.

        • chortlingdingo

          We’re not even all that outnumbered here. We just mostly live in the big cities, so they gerrymander us up with huge swaths of rural towns. Austin’s district map looks ridiculous.

          • mark99k

            It really does. First time I saw it I insisted it had to be a joke. Sadly it’s not.

          • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

            Same in TN. My district looks like an hour glass. I live in the pinched part of the hour glass. It pisses me off.

  • kaydenpat

    Freedumb, y’all!!

    • willi0000000

      it’s the only thing that’s really free.

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    How’s that old saying go…Republicans know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

  • cmd resistor

    OT, but reporter just asked Sarah Huckabee if info that the DACA kids gave to government would be used to round them up. She gave the same non answer as to all DACA questions, that they are working to finalize decision/details and would announce on Tuesday. So, she wouldn’t say, NO, we would never do that.

    • Good_Gawd_Yall

      This is PRECISELY why I won’t get my DNA tested to find out what my heritage is. If the Gestapo administration decided they wanted that information, I can’t really see anybody stepping forward to stop them. Scary as hell, and I feel horrible for all those DACA kids who bravely trusted their government not to fuck them over.

      • David Hollenshead

        Your heritage likely shows itself by indicator traits, for example:
        My dad’s side is European & Black Irish.
        Black Irish == My dad’s use of African American hair straightening products to pass for white, and teeth & bone structure of First Peoples.
        My mom’s side is European & First Peoples,
        ie. also having First Peoples bone structure, teeth, limited body hair, limited ability to metabolize alcohol, etc…..
        So even if I ignored the First Peoples who asked which Nation I’m from, and how Racists clearly do not consider me white, these indicator traits show my ancestry, even though my mom was adopted and my dad’s family prefers not to talk about part of their ancestry….

        • Good_Gawd_Yall

          Well, I was adopted, and the best clues I have are my lack of body hair, which I passed on to my son, my coloring (very pale) and my general body shape (“dumpy” is a word that comes to mind). I suspect I’m some polyglot, but I can’t really be arsed to find out, to be honest.

          • David Hollenshead

            My mother was adopted as well, from a Catholic Boarding School Student.
            The bid reason for learning about your ancestry is medical, as different groups have different health issues…..

  • NeoliberalBanksterCaptainHowdy

    104 degrees at 12:45 pm. Will probably keep warming up for a few more hours.

    • Creepoman

      Man, your oven sucks.

  • CO
    • yyyaz

      Maybe they could hire some real editors before their credibility descends below Alex Jones’.

      • CO

        They wanted to be contrarian and it blew up on them.

  • PixieThis

    “…93 people dead, 100s injured and 1,000s displaced from their homes today after the unregulated chemical plant exploded…” Some news report in the near future.

    I guess that’s that greedy people and the GOP call “acceptable losses”

    • Teecha

      Or a reduction in the number of unemployed scroungers?

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    Job killing regulations are bad.
    People killing chemical plants…. meh.

  • La forza del resistino

    Donald wouldn’t know a polymer from polly the parrot. But if Bamz wrote an EPA rule it must be undone.

  • JMP

    But think of all the damage all those job-killing regulations did, like preventing big explosions! Look at all the nonexistent evidence that forcing this company to take basic safety precautions might have cost the not-so-great state of Texas as many as 0 jobs!

    • TEX Dept. of Space Tacos

      and to think, this co. will get disaster money paid for by taxpayers.

      • Oblios_Cap

        Socialize the risks. Classical economics.

  • whitroth

    “Burdensome, job-killing regulations”.

    Why do I keep misreading that as “public safety enforcement and theft prevention by white collar criminals, like CEOs”?

    Raygun’s second term: deregulate the banking industry.
    1988, the S&L debacle, reported in the papers as 30% white collar crime (aka embezzlement)
    1996: telecom deregulation
    2000-2001, tech bubble collapse
    W: more cut regulations, and underfund IRS auditors
    2008: Great Recession

    That’s not a pattern, right?

    • Ryan Denniston

      It’s a feature, not a bug.

  • Mr. Blobfish

    The explosions at night
    Are big and bright

    • David Hollenshead

      Your continued breathing will require all your might,

      • That’s a moray

        • David Hollenshead

          An eel like fish ???

        • Teecha


    • yyyaz

      The poor folks wail
      Down the toxic trail

  • Anger makes people more Conservative.

    Maybe this is why Trump/Rush/Beck/Savage, et al all talk loud (louder is more dominant) & angry?

    Nobody surprised here

    • Jamoche

      Funny, Conservatives make me more angry.

      • whitroth

        The angrier I get, the more I empathize with the French and the Russians…

    • Covfefe

      Fear makes people more conservative.

    • yyyaz

      I hear jail makes conservatives into librulz.

      • David Hollenshead

        You are thinking about re-education camps……

        • yyyaz

          Nah, it’s an old joke:
          A conservative is a liberal who has just been mugged.
          A liberal is a conservative who has just spent the night in jail.

          • David Hollenshead

            What happens to a Libertarian who is mugged ???

          • yyyaz

            They have themselves stitched up at “Doctor” Doublewide’s trailer/office and pay him with chickens.

  • David Hollenshead

    How hard is it to make sure that your back up generators work, and that someone will make sure that in case of a power outage, that your refrigeration has contestant power ???
    Anyone who lives in rural America can do both……

    • Ryan Denniston

      Generators are supposed to be stationed on the roof, right?

      • David Hollenshead

        Nah, but making sure they are not in a flood plain is important….

    • Jamoche

      Hard? No. Costing more than not doing it? Yes.

      • David Hollenshead

        Exactly !!!

        • Oblios_Cap

          Insurance will pay. it’s a win/win!

  • “Okay, so we’ve got a lot of chemicals on site. What are the risks of storing these things?”
    “No risk at all. I sent out a memo on the safety precautions needed to the employees.”
    “What about risk to the community?”
    “Well, as long as everyone follows the memo, none.”
    “What if they don’t follow the memo?”
    “They will. We regularly announce safety and compliance inspections well in advance.”
    “Okay, but say… you know, a fire accidentally starts somewhere… how would we deal with that?”
    “Geez, there are really toxic chemicals around here. I imagine we’ll leave the site and just let nature take its course.”
    “Sounds foolproof. Good job. You want to get out of here early and go snort cocaine off a $500 hooker’s ass?”

    • Edith Prickly

      Know what else? We might get some awesome superpowers if all those chemicals blow up!! Woooo!

      • Permit-holder Ron

        I say we round those guys up and find out. Happily I have a good gas mask.

  • puredog

    So, did the other shoe ever drop on that Level 4 biohazard facility on Galveston Island? That was the one that a-skeered me.

    • Snopes Shop

      Apparently it was “declared safe” ….

      • Oblios_Cap

        Or quickly “went away”.

        • Snopes Shop


      • Permit-holder Ron

        That is a relief.

    • Ryan Denniston

      I can’t get over it. Who would think it a good idea to place a Level 4 facility on Galveston Island given that famous hurricane?

  • Erick the Kracker

    Governor Dipshit (R-Freedumb) said after the 2014 fertilizer explosion in West that, “We don’t need no public disclosure of hazardous substances. The public knows where those chemical plants are and they can go ax them”. I am paraphrasing, of course. What he really said was “Fuck off “.

    • Resistance Fighter Astraea

      The tier II is still a federal requirement that the state can’t overrule. On top of everything else Arkema handled this about as badly as possible.


    • Permit-holder Ron

      Extra upvote for the Don Martin call-out!

      • data_ninja


  • Oblios_Cap

    Freedom’s just another word for something else to kersplode!

  • Good_Gawd_Yall

    Ya know what? I’m not an engineer and I don’t live in Texas, but it seems to me that you could maybe position things a tad better than just leaving them outside in Texas in the summer if they’re subject to exploding from excess heat. Like, I dunno, put the generators on the roof? Bury the holding tanks underground? I live in KY where it gets pretty damn hot in the summers, but the folks who lived here in the 1800s dug deep holes, cut blocks of ice from the river during the winter, put straw and ice down in the holes, and used that as a crude refrigeration system, and guess what – it worked. Just sayin’. (And yes, I know that keeping meat cold in July is not the same as keeping volatile chemicals safe.)

    • David Hollenshead

      Underground storage has the issue of corrosion to the tanks, the reason that your local gas station was selling compost, as a teaspoon of toxic soil came in each bag……

    • TundraGrifter

      At the Alameda Naval Air Station are all these bunkers scattered some distance apart from each other. So if, say, the weapons in one were to explode, all the others wouldn’t instantly join in.

      • David Hollenshead

        The same method is used for Nuclear Waste at Canada’s Cando Plants……

        • hendenburg2

          *all nuclear waste.


          Also, most CANDU plants run on natural uranium, so they produce depleted uranium as a waste

          • David Hollenshead

            Not all nuclear waste, as much of it can be stored in a single site. Case in point, I once knew the owner of a business that transported radiological drugs, from the research reactor to the hospitals. His retired vans were disposed of in salt deposits, as they posed little hazard, and yet were too radioactive to be sent to the salvage yard.

        • TundraGrifter

          And firecracker factories.

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      The Houston area in general has a very shallow water table – dig a hole anywhere from 5-10 feet deep and you’ll end up with water ponding at the bottom.

      • Good_Gawd_Yall

        Oh, that happens here too; we also have a high water table. But the holes I’m talking about are around 12 feet deep and a lot of them are dug in little hills. I realize they’re not really a solution to this problem. I was just trying to make a case for finding some other way to handle this than “cross fingers and hope.”

    • Nigel R. Toppinglift, III

      “Keepin’ the meat cold” sounds like a euphemism for something…but I can’t quite put my finger on what…

  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    Arkema’s vice president for manufacturing, engineering and regulatory services, Daryl Roberts, explained that apart from a list of chemicals posted to its website, no further details, like the amounts or how they’re stored, could be released. Why not? The risk of terrorism.

    Terrorists would be interested in a list of stuff that’s already blown up or will blow up soon? Really?

    • jesterpunk

      But Governor Wheels said you can just ask them what they are storing and they will tell you.

    • Good_Gawd_Yall

      This non-explanation explanation pisses me off. Terrorists don’t need to know precisely what chemicals are stored where, because they could get everything they need from a meth lab they could find by following certain people home from the grocery store.

    • TundraGrifter

      The same terrorist who tried to blow up a bus – and burned his lips on the tailpipe.

    • hendenburg2

      That’s…. not entirely accurate.

      Peroxides themselves are extremely unstable, and they can be used to make explosives. Tricyclic Acetone Peroxide, for example.

      So you’d better believe that the sale of lab-grade precursor chemicals are monitored by the ATF.

      So yes, there is a non-negligible risk there. Aside from Arkema’s soon-to-be-on-fire inventory.

  • Wolf Tracker

    Company spokesman “Those chemicals are perfectly safe and hell no we are not going anywhere near those trailers.”

    I think that should be a big flashing:

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    Those chemtrails we liek.

  • Snopes Shop

    OT: I wonder where he got the “rigged system” language from?

    • Resistance Fighter Callyson

      Donald is getting desperate, isn’t he?

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Why do you hate America, the Free Market, and Jesus, Dok?

  • jesterpunk

    OT, I am watching Roger Waters videos of his concerts this year and there are idiot Trump supporters commenting on them. Like this video

    And this comment:

    I did go the Louisville show. I must say that the David Gilmour show WAS MUCH BETTER than yours. I personally will not listen to you again you are ignorant for being political. You are not even from my country. GET A CLUE DUMB ASS. GO TRUMP

    Really you didnt notice before Trump that Pink Floyd songs where political you dumbass?

  • MynameisBlarney
  • Resistance Fighter Callyson
    • BMW

      “It’s fake news!”

  • stumpknocker
  • RichardBroderickJr

    Should we treat Texas as Texas would treat others?

    Does that sound cruel? Does that say something about Texas.


    • jesterpunk

      There are a lot of great people in Texas that didnt vote for their dumbass leaders. Some are even here.

    • David Hollenshead

      Yes, it does sound cruel and there are many fine people who live in Texas….

    • stumpknocker

      remember the words of Michelle O. they go low, we go high.

      • Pat_Pending

        Lately it’s just been, ‘when they go low, we get high.’ Which is why it’s hard to draw a sober breath these days.

        • Eileen Besse


        • little miss high and mighty

          Marion Sunshine/ Chick Webb/ Ella Fitzgerald
          Showed us the way.
          Get High!

      • therblig

        when they blow, they go sky high?

      • RichardBroderickJr

        Is the golden rule, “low”?

      • bbayliss

        After we get high can we kick ’em in the nuts?


      • little miss high and mighty

        my coat got sold
        ow, my, ain’t it cold
        but I ain’t gonna holler ’cause I still got a dollar so

        When I get low woooah oah o I get high

        My man walked out- you know that ain’t right
        no roach for him if I see him tonight ,yo
        when i get low woooah oah o I get high

        A rukus last night that ended in jail
        But no worry here- my girls got me bail
        I say when I get low Woooah oah o I get high.

        (peakeasy 3 via Ella Fitzgerald via Marion Sunshine and Chick Webb, 1931- a good year to get back up high when stuff gits low.

  • OutOfOrbit

    conundrum: if [Safe] at-home chemical plants are too expensive to compete with imported chemicals, then we can’t have [Safe] at-home chemical plants–no one will buy their product. The (3) choices: move production to a furrin place where there are no safety regulations; live (and sometimes die) with the risks of unregulated production; have import tariffs.

    • David Hollenshead

      Some chemical production is rightly placed in deserted areas.
      For example the Automakers & Plastic Manufacturers who located plants in Mexico so they could be far from residential housing, and thus reduce the chances of harming others….

  • Pat_Pending

    And they want us taxpayers to help ’em out, I’m sure…

    • David Hollenshead

      We will, after all the taxpayers pay for prisons……

      • Permit-holder Ron

        Can we cut out the middleman and just put these assholes in the prisons?

        • David Hollenshead

          Nah, like our Führer Trump will get when he is finally charged for his money laundering and treason, they deserve their due process of law. And when considering that they committed a premeditated felony, the Felony Murder Rules applies….

  • Wolf Tracker

    Does this officially declare Texas a hell hole now?

    I’ve called it that for years.

    • David Hollenshead

      A contaminated and currently soggy hell hole…

    • chortlingdingo

      Hey, it may be a hell hole on occasion, but it’s my hell hole, and I’ll be damned if I give up on it and let these jackasses just have it.

      • Wolf Tracker

        I own property near El Paso and have been in Texas many times but I wouldn’t live there.

        Some places like Austin not so bad.

        • little miss high and mighty

          General Phil Sheridan:
          “If I owned Texas and hell
          I’d rent out Teaxs, if I could
          and live in hell:”

          A funnier quote than his “Good (1st national) is a D—d (1st national). (He was severely manic)
          He did save D.C, from Jubal Early once, though .

  • UncleTravelingMatt

    Terrorists are going to steal our flaming chemicals and use them against us?

    • Permit-holder Ron

      That’s OUR job!
      – Richard ‘staying well outside the blast radius’ Rowe

    • Vagenda and Pee-ara

      Trump warned us they’d try to steal our jobs!

    • Kooolest G

      if the terrorists were smart they would just send money to the chemical lobbyists, much more effective and less dangerous….for them anyway

  • Machnethylsteinerbincolabird

    How the hell are we sposed to make AmeriKKKa great and generate fucktons of money and jobs when we have to listen to you pussy-ass libtards with your “safety” and your “rules” always complaining about “waaaa, please don’t kill my babies” and “excuse me, my lungs are burning” ???

  • The Arkema executives should be forced to live downwind of the plant until the splodey/smoky problem ends. After all, toxicity is relative.

    • Ryan Denniston
    • Jamoche

      Won’t help. The guy who invented leaded gasoline famously washed his hands in the stuff to show how “safe” it was – shortly after having been treated for lead poisoning! He also invented CFCs.

      • David Hollenshead

        He also turned on lead, later in life….

        • Jamoche

          If they learn at all it’s always too late for the rest of us.

      • Ryan Denniston

        Boy, that’s just evil!

      • Suttree

        In 1940, at the age of 51, Midgley contracted poliomyelitis,
        which left him severely disabled. This led him to devise an elaborate
        system of strings and pulleys to help others lift him from bed. This
        system was the eventual cause of his own death when he was entangled in the ropes of this device and died of strangulation at the age of 55.

        • Fuck. That is some karma on top of karma

        • Nigel R. Toppinglift, III

          ” This led him to devise an elaborate system of strings and pulleys to help others lift him from bed.”

          He invented block and tackle rigging?

          “This system was the eventual cause of his own death when he was entangled in the ropes of this device and died of strangulation at the age of 55.”

          Goddammit, that’s just tits…

    • Suttree

      Screw downwind! They should live at the plant. They might give a damn then.

  • Baconzgood

    Safety last.

    • Safety is for cucks and Canucks… What other country beside Canada would produce a band that could write a song called “Safety Dance”?

      • David Hollenshead

        Actually Canada still believes in “the solution for pollution is dilution”.

        • Just Noh

          well, diluting the organic peroxides would have reduced the risk of overpressuring in this specific case…but i see your point.

        • Nigel R. Toppinglift, III

          How very 80’s of them…

      • Pilotshark


    • Permit-holder Ron

      If ever.

    • Bobathonic

      “Oh, y’all think it’s safe NOW, with all them regeelations? Hold mah beer.”

  • David Hollenshead

    What killed Detroit ???
    The main cause of Urban Flight was Mysterious Illnesses, linked to Toxic Contamination. The problem occurred during WWII, when Detroit was the “Arsenal of Democracy”, as little concern was placed on the safe disposal of waste products.
    Mass producing material for the war was the only concern…..

    • Permit-holder Ron

      Clearly it should have been ‘Arsenic of Democracy.’

      • David Hollenshead

        In all honesty, we humans didn’t realize that dilution was no the solution for pollution back then. Now that we do, we need to be more careful….

  • Scooby

    The specifically pick Texas for dangerous or toxic shit just for this reason.

    • DerrickWildcat

      Cuz it violates Somalian environmental regulations.

      • Charon_69

        Ouch; true but ouch

  • Poly_Ester

    So if it weren’t for those onerous Federal regulations, organic peroxides would be safe.

  • DerrickWildcat

    The only solution is for Texas to sue the EPA.

  • Charon_69

    Dok that ‘feather’ line s beautiful; I’m a sucker for a good ‘prithee’

  • Ellie

    The Texas Lege walk into a bar.
    The bartender served them tainted alcohol because there are no regulations.
    They die.

    Yes, I know the original line was “Ayn Rand, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan walk into a bar,” but the Texas Lege fits just as well.

    • Charon_69

      Oh Molly where art thou

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Two Corinthians walk into a bar and order beers.

      Corinthian One: This beer tastes funny. (He collapses and dies.)

      Corinthian Two: This beer tastes funny, too. (He collapses and dies.)

      A customer: Is the beer safe to drink here?

      Bartender: Maybe not. But at least no jobs were lost.

      • BMW

        “The Aristocrats!”

    • little miss high and mighty

      Texas Legislature convenes once every two years and usually amounts to s shorter session than smaller states’ annuals. They prefer to seal their deals in foursomes on their links or else over their phones and armadillo roast gatherings. Too busy with their side jobs- they like to stay out of Austin during boogie season.

  • Obviously, this is Obama’s fault for being a Mooslin without a birth paper thing

  • Gorillionaire

    They never learn. The hurricane that flooded eastern NC a few years ago drowned thousands of pigs that were confined in their tiny pens and spread diseased pig shit all over every water and food source in seven counties, and pretty much the exact same thing is going to happen again this year.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Only in NC can a politician be pro-pigshit and still get re-elected.

      • Thurman Munster IV

        Professional courtesy, of course.

  • Spurning Beer

    Freedom’s just another word for allowing an explosion-prone chemical plant to operate in the vicinity of apartment buildings, a nursing home, and two schools, unbothered by zoning regulations, safety rules or inspections.

    But they want to impose a requirement for women to carry rape insurance.

    Fucking Texas.

  • bookish
  • Ωbjectifier

    I don’t get this Tier II thing. I’ve been filling those for years, thought it was a federal requirement. How does TX get to overrule that?

    • They don’t, until the SCOTUS decision that they do. Until then, saber rattlin and lawsuits.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Feds require that the list be maintained. TX barred it from becoming public.

  • Terrorism, bullshit. They don’t want to deal with the lawsuits.

    Prithee, pardon us whilst we arise from the floor, whence this feather hath knocked us most cruelly.

    And this is why Dok is the kindest most wonderful sparkle pony whatevers.

    • covfefesumgame0005

      well, when I was a bit (ahem, a LOT) younger I went to a sparkle pony show in Tijuana this one time…

  • Paperless Tiger

    Why do we call bribery ‘lobbying’?

    • blaid droog

      Because bribery is such an awful nasty word with unsavory connotations.

      • Nigel R. Toppinglift, III

        Some decorum, please. We’re on The Cape, after all…

    • BMW

      Why do you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Because they used to hand over the money in the lobby. A quaint tradition; now they just hand out checks on the floor of the chamber.

      • HooverVilles

        I would guess some before and some after; incentive and reward.

      • little miss high and mighty

        no- direct deposit to the Caymans or to some Wyoming bank or to the C.Rep’s revolving door charity of choice.
        Big bills- too cumsy on the House Floor- the lobby’s lousy with potogs.

  • Perkniticky

    Hey, why aren’t Republicans calling on the free market to fix Houston? If unfettered capitalism worked so well before Harvey, why not after? Also, Americans didn’t want to bail out homeowners after the economic collapse, what’s changed now? No one made those Houstonians build on floodplain – shouldn’t they just suck it up and pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Think of all the moral hazard we are exposing them to by bailing them out!

    • Deep State Lister


    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      It’s different when Republicans need gov’t money, because they deserve it.

      • HooverVilles

        Hmmm, juuuuust who are the makers and the takers anyway?

  • Deep State Lister

    Ok so, if they don’t regulate chem plants it will kill the workers. If you kill the workers you’re not killing jobs, in fact that may open up the jobs, in a sense creating jobs. I think we may have a ‘final solution’ here.

    • phoenix00

      Also keeps them from unionizing or asking for raises. WINNING.

  • Royal Ugly Globalist Dude

    Arkema CEO Richard Rowe

    Best name for a defendant since Enron CFO John Doe.

    • BMW

      “Rhut rowe.”
      -Scooby Doo

  • Keith Taylor

    C’mon. Read your Ayn Rand. Government safety regulations aren’t needed. They are imposed by power-mad bureaucrats for the sake of creating unnecessary restrictions, and far from making industries safer, they make them more dangerous. Stalwart self-reliant heroes are never injured in accidents.
    Why, Hank and Francisco stopped a furnace breakout all by themselves, throwing clay billets into the surging stream of molten metal at close range BY HAND, without even protective goggles I believe, at least that’s how I remember it, and their hair was hardly mussed.
    Please don’t tell me that was just pulp fiction. Rand did research! She said so herself!

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Kill your customers and they won’t come back. That’ll teach you!

    • Nigel R. Toppinglift, III

      I hear Rand had a masters in train technology.

      Short of superhuman people (like the Heroine that woke up hungry, but had work to do, so had coffee and a cigarette instead of…you know…eating) we need regs. Why? I tell folks: Behind every regulation, there’s someone that fucked up royally, and someone with a level head said “Uh, yeah, I guess we now need to tell people that they can’t pour hazardous waste into the drinking water, because they won’t know to do so, otherwise.”

  • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

    Didn’t scroll down all 221 comments to check if someone else posted this. The American Chemistry Council are shills for the industry’s worst offenders; as opposed to the American Chemical Society which is an association of chemists. So if you see the American Chemistry Council quoted, assume the worst.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Kinda like the US Chamber of Commerce, but with poisons.

      • Wee Mousie

        Instead of really poisonous businessmen.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    To be fair, “encouraging companies to substitute less hazardous substances” is a very bad thing, when your entire business consists of making those hazardous substances.

    • spacecat in space

      Or they could innovate and find substitutes which are as or more effective which are less hazardous.

      But innovation and forward-thinking would be unAmerican, I guess.

      • Regret

        I’m in favor of using hazardous substances when they are the best tool for the job.
        Just with full disclose to people who could be affected by them, with as many safety procedures as needed to keep the risk of people dying below that of driving a car.

  • I will be interested to see what the State o’ Texas does in terms of regulations since after the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion back in ’13 resulted in the only significant change in regulations: eliminating the need to release the Tier II listings on request. All this according to Rachel Maddow.

    The Christian conservative often reports to believe that government regulations of industry are unnecessary because it isn’t in industries’ best interest to be inherently dangerous and polluting. They will police themselves based on profit.

    It is no wonder we are so fucked.

  • Pilotshark

    so to be fair, all the fires and explosions (pops) think how fast the area will dry out, republican thinking.

    up to the dry out, is snark the republican thinking is true.

  • Nigel R. Toppinglift, III


    OK, I’m going to do one quick defend: They had three points of failure (muni power, back up power, and then gensets) between them and disaster. That’s typically a reasonable level of safety. Much like Fukushima, no one really expects generators to get drowned…though now, it probably should be considered.

    That said…

    1. Didja hear about how Trumpistration want’s to completely gut the Chemical Safety Board? The folks that investigate this shit, find out what went wrong, and then recommend changes and regulation? Folks always turn to OSHA and EPA for things like this, but all they do is determine whether the company met the existing laws (spoiler: they didn’t); CSB actually tells them how to fix their shit, regardless of whether there is a law in place.

    2. “Arkema CEO Richard Rowe refused to release the company’s federally mandated “Tier II” inventory of chemicals stored at the plant, because under Texas regulations the company no longer has to make that information public.”

    Naw, sweetie, EPCRA: Learn it, live it, know it:
    States don’t get to over rule the Feds on this one.

    3. So, those “excessive regulations” they’re whining about is OSHA Process Safety Management/EPA Risk Management Plan (different, but essentially the same thing). Those are things that say yes, you will ensure you have employees properly trained to operate the horribly dangerous chemical process as well as emergency response procedures; yes, you will make sure equipment is properly maintained and in good repair, including leak detection and process instrumentation; yes, you will have standard operating procedures; yes you will perform process hazard analyses which will identify what can go wrong, how it can go wrong, the consequences of such, what you have in place currently to prevent it and identify any gaps that you need to fix in order to prevent…you know…killing everyone; and YES YOU WILL FUCKING GODDAMN DO EVERY FUCKING BIT OF IT YOU GODDAMN FUCKING PIMP COCKSUCKERS! GOD DAMMIT!

    Aaannnd, it’s time for another beer.

    [Source: I’ve done PSM/RMP for clients before and it’s a pisser when they sit in a binder and haven’t been touched, since]

    ETA: AND! The whole terrorism bullshit is just that. The DHS has a list of all nasty chems that can be used as – or make – nasty terrorist shit. If you have enough of a chemical, you are subject to DHS security measures, which are stiff, but that’s what happens when you’re in that business…

    • Shawn Renee Ernoehazy

      When I read the company response to law enforcement officials that experienced physical reactions to the resulting smoke, I was yelling at the radio, “inert, non hazardous chemicals do not result in a physical reaction!” I read an article in which the company claimed that the chemicals stored there are harmless. Yeah, when kept in totally controlled conditions.

      • Nigel R. Toppinglift, III

        I’m surprised they didn’t roll out “Not explosions; ‘pressure excursions'”

      • Regret

        inert peroxides?HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • spacecat in space

      They are located in a known flood zone. Yes, they should have expected their generators to get drowned unless they took precautions to keep them high enough to avoid reasonably expected flood levels, which, in a gorram flood zone, would be kinda high. They didn’t. Their backup plan involved freaking _trailers_. They were cheap and lazy and didn’t care because they don’t have to care.

  • Jeff Mc Donald

    I’m sure the proper Fox “News” spin here is, “See what over regulation leads to? If not for excessive regulations the owners would have been free to make their business safe, without the interference of bureaucrats”. In fact I can even see a tie in to Hilary in there somewhere.

  • geoffalnutt

    Obviously Gov.Greg Abbott doesn’t want anyone occupying Texas but oil-men and chem-men. Anyone else who chooses to do so is living there at their own risk. Texas is only about making the money. Everyone else is in the way and deserves to get sick and die when (inevitably) something goes wrong. It’s their own fault! s/

    • Grokenstein
    • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

      But did anybody just drive up and ask them what chemicals are being stored there? QED, it’s the community’s fault if the plant blows up. At least that’s what “Governor” Abbott implied the other day.

      • Janet Snively

        they changed the law in Texas so you cannot ask what chemicals are being used or stored on the property – they tried asking after the big explosion in West, Texas several years ago

        • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

          Yeah. I was just making fun of the governor. What a maroon.

    • SeeTrain65

      And con men.

  • HooverVilles

    The Invisible Hand of the unregulated free market is never wrong. /s

    • phoenix00

      Republican Jesus will take care of everything. Just have to pray harder.

  • SeeTrain65

    I guess paying fines to OSHA was cheaper than fixing anything.

  • SadDemInTex

    This shit makes me feel hopeless about Texas politics

  • Zyxomma

    When I was a kid, my dad worked with toxic chemicals (he was a color engineer and color chemist in — you guessed it, plastics). Before that, he worked in paint. This was before OSHA (he died in 1968), and he’d scrub his hands after work to remove the resin dyes from under his fingernails and mutter, “This stuff’s gonna kill me.” It basically collapsed his circulatory system, and combined with diabetes, made it so.

    My mother loved cleaning house with toxic, caustic chemicals. I nearly died when she told me to throw some bleach into the kitchen sink, having forgotten that she ALREADY HAD ammonia in the drain. I saw the cloud of chlorine gas rising, and got the fuck out of there (did choke just a bit).

    Chemical safety is paramount. I’m glad I left Houston 16 months after arriving there. Haven’t set foot in TX since. Left in 1976, and returned home to NYC, where we have some nice weather.

  • BoatOfVelociraptors

    I find it higly…. something that they keep calling these “Job Killing” regulations. These are job creating regulations. They create the jobs of inspector, compliance officers and operations personnel to ensure compliance.

    • phoenix00


  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    You would think that in a place where flooding is a virtual certainty, they’d put the diesel generators on platforms 10 feet off the ground.

    • BeachLoafer

      Gee, in some regulated industries, they put the last-tier emergency generators waaaay off the ground (like, on the roof), even where there’s pretty much no flood risk at all. Something about “if it gets bad enough that we need these things, shit’s already gotten way out of hand, let’s make sure they’ll work”

  • Carlill

    Isn’t this the place that Superman got that crazy acid after dropping a frozen lake on it?

  • Viktor

    Scott Pruitt should drink a tall glass of “Clean Coal” juice

  • Stulexington

    I have decided what sort of business I”m going to start if I win the lottery, a safety equipment business. Then I”m going to pull all the crap chemical and manufacturing industries pull right back at them: I’m gonna lobby hard for more strict regulations, keep track of the expiration dates of all the equipment I’ve sold and if they laps I tattle to the regulation authorities about them.

    I’ll name it “Big Safety” so any time someone’s complaining about the effects of “Big Safety” on the market, they’ll hand me free advertising to boot.

    • redblack

      they’ll just buy the “regulatory authorities” and undercut your business.

      if i win the lottery, i’ll buy arkema, fire its CEO, sell its assets and property, lay everyone off, and walk away.

      fuck petrochemicals.

    • Robyn Ryan

      Get too big to fail.

  • rick

    Arkema Chemical said that regulations kill jobs. Clearly, they’d rather kill everyone within a 1.5 mi radius of their plant so as not to have to deal with no regulations.

    That’s Republican thinking for you!

  • Me not sure

    I smell another Toxic Avenger sequel. Who knew Tromaville was in Texas?

  • unionthuggery

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  • Incoming Ham

    A Poem:

    This is never going to end.

    If you want to have the government represent the people instead of corporations and industries you have to fundamentally change things. If a politician takes contributions or favors of any kind from industry lobbyists, or anyone that could be construed as trying to influence policy, you don’t get to introduce bills to that industry’s benefit. If you lobby a colleague to do it for you are censured.

    PACs and SuperPACs need to die or be completely transparent.

    Never ever going to happen.

    I’d go with not being able to vote on legislation benefiting a specific industry that gives them money too, but that is a bridge too far.

    Never ever going to happen.

    It’s become far too profitable to fuck people over without consciousness, because… money.

    If our politicians only job is being reelected (which seems to be the case) they are going to sell out for money to do accomplish that. I am so fucking sick of hearing phrases like “war chest” and the constant fixation on the advantage of an amount of money a politician has. The amount of money should be limited and equal to all candidates. If Joe Bob can only raise 2000k no one else gets more than 2000k

    Never ever going to happen.

  • Robyn Ryan

    People are fungible. Money isnt.

  • Fredrick Demond Scott

    LOL! They never saw it coming.

  • irishdave3

    But, blowed up…real good? No one could have predicted….

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