When the West, Texas, fertilizer plant, where 30 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate—stored in wooden sheds without sprinkler systems and near other combustible material—caught fire, exploded and killed 15 people, including 10 emergency responders, the state of Texas had virtually no regulations governing ammonium nitrate and other hazardous chemicals. A year later, it still doesn’t.
Republicans have a plan to create jobs and they’re going to stick by it whether it kills you or not. According to their twisted logic (shared by Mitt Romney, BTW) excessive federal regulation—especially workplace safety rules—is a major reason why unemployment is staying so stubbornly high.
The answer according to House Republicans simple, just don’t allow any more regulations, from job safety to rules for big banks and public health. That’s theory behind the bill (H.R. 4078) the House passed last week that would bar any new federal rule until the jobless rate drops below 6 percent. How brilliant is that?
How many times have we heard from big corporations and their political allies—usually well-financed by corporate campaign contributions—that the latest workplace safety, environmental or consumer protection regulation will kill jobs, ruin the economy and lead to the end of civilization as we know it?