Chemical Security Mark-Up Hearing This A.M.

We’ve recently highlighted a new bill being pushed through the House, H.R. 2868, the Chemical Facility Antiterrorism Act, that promises to make U.S. production and storage of chemicals more expensive and burdensome. The chemical industry is one of strong foundations of the U.S. economy. As Marty Durbin of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) described it at Tuesday’s hearing on the legislation by the House Committee on Homeland Security:

The business of chemistry is an important part of our nation’s economy and employs more than 850,000 Americans, and produces 19 percent of the world’s chemicals. ACC member companies manufacture essential products critical to everyday items that keep the economy moving and are essential to developing the greener, cleaner, more competitive economy the nation seeks. More than 96 percent of all manufactured goods are directly touched by the business of chemistry. Our members provide the chemistry that is used to produce life saving medications and medical devices, body armor used by our military and law enforcement officers, light weight components for vehicles, energy saving insulation and windows, silicon for solar panels, wind turbine blades and so much more. 

Yet the legislation includes many provisions that will simply make it harder to do business in the United States with no real benefit in terms of safety or anti-terrorism security. Sure, environmental groups will appreciate the additional power to sue companies in tandem with federal regulatory enforcement, but that “citizen suit” provision only serves the activists, not security.

This legislation is also a major item of interest and concern in farm country, since modern agriculture involves fertilizers and other chemicals, to say the least. The Kansas Meadowlark blog has been covering the rural angle, with attention to the growing-power-of-government angle, too. From “Congress could give government bureaucrats more control of farms and industry:

The federal government continues its push for unprecedented control of more aspects of our lives while there is little public discussion of the changes and consequences.  The mainstream press is mostly ignoring changes being discussed now in Congress regarding chemical security, which could have a huge impact on most industries, including ones important to Kansas.

Shouldn’t Kansans speak up about more federal controls that may affect Kansas farms?  Don’t Kansas farmers know more about farming than federal bureaucrats?

The committee mark-up starts at 10 a.m. Go here for the streaming video.

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