Letter: Here’s why we need more, not less, regulation
To find a perfect demonstration of why we need more, not less, regulation of business, we need look no further than the massive explosion of the West Fertilizer Co. plant in West, Texas.
This company was storing over 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrite that would trigger safety oversight by the Department of Homeland Security. The company did not inform the agency about this huge amount of explosive fertilizer as it was required to do. The tragic result was the obliteration of part of the town and the death of at least 14 people.
Unregulated free enterprise never has been free. It has always come at a heavy cost to the environment and people’s welfare. Some if its proponents have been waging an assault on reasonable government regulatory powers by lobbying Congress to relax government oversight. They believe it interferes with business growth and want to replace it with self-regulation. They use the canard of job-creation as a selling point.
Conservative members of Congress continue to reduce the budgets of regulatory agencies including those responsible for safe food, clean water, air quality, job safety protection. They say all of this regulation is not needed, that it strangles job creation and is unaffordable. Tell that to the families of the volunteer fire department in West, Texas. This is a recipe for more West, Texas, incidents, more polluted streams and rivers, more contaminated foods, more unsafe mines, more degradation of the environment. We should not have to choose between an unsafe environment or a job.
I’d rather be alive and well with competent oversight than be killed or injured by the promise of business that it will self-police. Liar, liar, the plant’s on fire.