To: President Obama
Protect Americans from Chemical Explosions
Just as the Newtown shooting painfully illuminated the urgent need for gun control, the West Texas, fertilizer plant explosion is a call to action to make chemical plants safer. Today more than 100 million Americans live in disaster zones. The leading hazard in those zones is poison gas such as anhydrous ammonia, which was also stored at the West, Texas facility. We respectfully urge you to use your authority under the Clean Air Act to ensure the use of safer chemical processes to eliminate these catastrophic hazards wherever feasible, whether they are susceptible to accident or terrorism.
Why is this important?
The April 17 fertilizer plant explosion in West Texas, that killed 14 people and injured an estimated 200 others was a tragic disaster that didn't have to happen. This devastation is a warning about the dangers at U.S. chemical plants.
Today more than 100 million Americans live in disaster zones. The leading hazard in those zones is poison gas such as anhydrous ammonia which was also stored at the West, Texas facility.
Where I live, Texas, is the tip of the iceberg. Texas alone has 101 chemical facilities that each puts 100,000 or more people at risk of a disaster. An additional 372 facilities pose equally catastrophic hazards in communities across the U.S.
In 2004, the Homeland Security Council said an attack on a poison gas facility would kill 17,500 people and send another 100,000 people to the hospital. In 2006, President Obama called these hazards, “stationary weapons of mass destruction spread all across the country.”
Please tell President Obama that he should use his authority as President to make the lives of the 100 million Americans in disaster zones safer.