Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pete Olson Just Says “No” to Anti-Terrorist Protection at Chemical Plants

One day before my congressman, Pete Olson of TX 22 voted against healthcare reform and for a thinly disguised GOP gift to the healthcare industry, one day before he sold out his seat to healthcare lobbyists to the detriment of voters in his district, Pete Olson voted with the rest of the Republicans, all of them, to leave ourselves open to terrorist attacks in an area that we are very vulnerable: chemical plants.

He voted No to HR 2868, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009.

This act amended the Homeland Security Act to enhance security and protect against acts of terrorism against chemical facilities, to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to enhance the security of public water systems, and to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to enhance the security of wastewater treatment works.

These places are the soft underbelly of our national infrastructure. Damage to any one of these installations by terrorist attack could result in the release of lethal chemicals, the poisoning of our water systems and the spread of disease through our wastewater (sewage) treatment works.

Many of these kinds of installations are within Pete Olson’s own district boundaries. Most poignantly, since part of CD 22 is within the Port of Houston, a no vote on this bill was not only ill-advised, it was a downright double-crossing of his own constituents.

Something Pete Olson appears to be becoming more and more comfortable with.

Pete Olson needs to take a cue from his fellow Republican in Louisiana, Joseph Cao, who was the lone Republican to vote Yes on healthcare reform last Saturday. He did so because he knew that voting for it was the best thing for his district, as he said many times on the news.

Joseph Cao apparently knows something that Pete Olson doesn’t. That sometimes the thing that is right to do is the thing that is of greatest benefit to the people who voted to send him to Washington and not cast votes to appease Republican Party leadership and party bosses. They don’t know what is best for CD 22, Pete Olson is in the best position to know that.

Or at least he should be.

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