West folly

Posted Friday, May. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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In light of your excellent reportage on the disaster in West, the cause of the explosion was clearly greed, ideology and politics. In the name of maximizing profit, the company kept on site more than a thousand times more of certain chemicals than it was licensed to keep and stored them in unsafe conditions.

In the name of deregulation, small government and in hopes of future campaign contributions, the state and federal agencies tasked with oversight were deliberately lied to, hampered, blocked, short-staffed, defunded and otherwise interfered with, by state officials, members of Congress, staffers, lobbyists and company officials.

In this context, expecting the owner to “cooperate fully” with the investigation seems to me the height of folly.

— Paul R. Schattman,


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