How Texas and their Republican leadership actually made the hurricane worse…

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Yes, we all feel bad for the victims of the flooding in Texas. And I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but they sort of make it worse for themselves. Texas has a long history of supporting the Republican notion that ‘the Gubmint’ needs to keep its nose out of people’s business. And also that corporations are people.

This has led to some dangerous practices. Did you know there are almost no zoning laws in Texas? They can build anywhere, including flood planes, or the places where water from floods usually goes to drain away. They also have almost no fire safety codes, but that is for another post.

Oh, and they have no laws requiring the owners of chemical plants to disclose to people living near those plants what is kept in those plants. I am assuming, without researching it, that the laws on storing those chemicals are also pretty loose. This led to some dangerous situations during the latest flood when some of those plants caught fire.

In a final ironic twist, Texas has very little restriction requiring pollution controls… which, whether they want to admit it or not, is adding to global climate change and making hurricanes worse.

It is the perfect storm… pun intended… of poor decision making.

But now that another flood has happened, the same people who made these decisions think that the same government they wanted to have leave them alone should hurry up and fix things. I’m not saying we shouldn’t fix things. I’m just saying that they are going to go right back to rebuilding on flood plains, polluting the world, getting flooded, and then asking for more help.

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3 Responses to How Texas and their Republican leadership actually made the hurricane worse…

  1. Texas has generally been a pro-business state for decades. We have no state income tax and relatively low business-related taxes overall. The hyper-conservative Republican Party started to take control of the state legislature and gain majority in the state house a quarter-century ago. Many of those Republicans had been Democrats who didn’t like the liberal path the general Democratic Party was taking – such outrageous acts as enforcing school desegregation and upholding abortion rights. That’s pretty much true across the Southeastern U.S. There were 2 big exoduses of people into the GOP from the Democrats: after the 1960s-era civil rights legislation and Ronald Reagan’s second win in 1984.

    In 2002, the Texas State Legislature achieved a Republican majority for the first time since Reconstruction. They then promptly did everything to ensure they’d remain in power. Thus, the gerrymandering and, now, voter I’d laws. A federal district court recently ruled the Texas voter map unconstitutional and ordered it to be redrawn. And, of course, Texas Republicans – led by our own Gov. Greg Abbott – are disputing it strongly and have vowed to fight it.

    It doesn’t help, though, that the majority of Texans don’t vote. For those of us who make the effort, it’s almost a lost cause.

  2. jdawgswords says:

    ok…texas epa laws are really lax BUT federal EPA laws have the bases covered…also there are public disclosure records related to every chemical plant…most have been built before the neighborhoods around them, and the builders don’t disclose; THEY don’t have too….and it really is stupid that folks are allowed to sell property on known flood plains AND NOT ALWAYS CHEAP!!!! but they aren’t insurable…btw the chemicals that blew up were organic peroxides and the plant lost refrigeration and so they knew they were going to lose the plant and people were told…we handled the 40″ rainfall pretty well, i think

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