Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lessons From West One Year Later

The two biggest things to come out of the West explosion one year ago are these: Number one - the citizens who call West, Texas home are resilient and in the process of putting their town and lives back together. Number two - both Texas and national authorities are asleep at the wheel when it comes to improving the safety of these fertilizer facilities so a tragedy like this does not happen again. If anyone ever doubted the amount of influence special interest has on state and federal government politicians, they only need to look to Austin, Texas and Washington D.C. after this event to see it. Even the people in public office who are dragging their feet to make changes to protect the lives of the folks they serve know that something needs to be done to improve safety. However, nothing has happened to prevent another tragedy like the West fertilizer explosion – so it will happen again. When I think about the people of West, two of which I know very well, and compare their actions to those of Gov. Perry and some in Washington D.C. - it's clear to me what money has done to our political system. It is true that political change is very slow, so maybe there will be improvements to the safety of these types of businesses in the future. Hopefully - that change will come in time to prevent another disaster like West, before it happens again.

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