Watch: Woman Decides to Follow Greg Abbott’s Advice to ‘Drive Around’ to Identify Dangerous Chemical Plants

Photo credit: AP/Darren Abate

Photo credit: AP/Darren Abate

The thought of Greg Abbott possibly being my state’s next governor is honestly depressing.  For as bad as Rick Perry is, Abbott might actually be worse.

Recently he told Texans that if they had concerns about dangerous chemical plants, they should just “drive around” to each of these plants and ask them for lists detailing what dangerous chemicals they might be storing inside.

“You know where they are if you drive around,” Abbott told reporters. “You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, well, we do have chemicals or we don’t have chemicals, and if they do, they tell which ones they have.”

He made these comments in response to his support of a government policy where Texas can withhold state records of dangerous chemical locations.  Abbott is using the defense that withholding the locations of these facilities is vital for our national security.  Because by making them public, terrorists could easily use them as targets.

Uh-huh.

I’m sure it has nothing to do with the thousands of dollars he’s received from Koch Industries which operates chemical plants in Texas.  Money that magically began to flow in (for the very first time) just a few months after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.

Or maybe it’s the fact that if Texans actually knew what kind of dangerous chemicals were being stored near their homes, all hell might break loose.

Either way, a woman decided to “drive around” to a couple of plants in Waxahachie, Texas (near Dallas) to see just how forthcoming these companies would be about handing over lists of what dangerous chemicals they might be storing.

She first went to Magnablend, a chemical plant that burned to the ground a couple of years ago.  And it just so happens I was actually in Waxahachie the day that plant was on fire.  The pillar of smoke could be seen from miles away.  The smell emanating from it was indescribable.  It lingered around the area for almost a year after all the debris had been cleared out.

To this day nothing sits on the vacant lot where the plant once sat.  And it wasn’t located in a remote part of town.  If that plant had exploded with the force that we saw from the plant in West, Texas, I would assume we would have seen well over 1,000 deaths, if not more.  Especially nearly everyone living in the apartment complex right next door.  

Waxahachie is a town of over 50,000 people.  It’s not tiny West, Texas.  And there are several different plants in and around the area.

Well, as this women went into Magnablend, she asked the front desk clerk for a list of dangerous chemicals that might be stored on premises.  You know, just like Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott told Texans to do.

At first employees seemed utterly clueless about what chemicals were stored there.  Finally one woman tells her that she would have to obtain that list from their public relations department.

She then made a second visit to another plant where she wasn’t even given access through their gate.

Needless to say, she was not given a list at either plant.

So, we have someone running for governor in Greg Abbott that wants state records of the locations of dangerous chemical plants to be kept secret from citizens, and the plants themselves refused to give this woman a list of what chemicals they had stored on site.  Even though “driving around and asking for lists” is what Greg Abbott told Texans to do.

And this is the guy Republicans will blindly vote for this November.  Someone who took campaign donations (for the first time mind you) from Koch Industries’ fertilizer division just a few short months after a massive fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.

But he’s not corrupt at all, right?

This is so blatantly corrupt it should be criminal.

Watch the woman try to obtain lists from two different chemical plants below:

Here’s a short video I shot that day of the Magnablend chemical fire:


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

Comments

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  • Bonta-kun

    Are you sure that wasn’t just some redneck modifying the hell out of his truck because Obama?

    • robingee

      Yeah, really. Take THAT, environment! They sure are showing us!

  • Moderate213

    “The smell emulating from it was indescribable.”

    Are you sure that “emulating” is the word you want there?

    • Jonas Planck

      Emanating. Yep, it got me too. I’m a closeted grammar Nazi, can’t help it.

      • Moderate213

        That’s not even grammar; that’s just sense-making. You have to use the right words if you want to make sense.

    • Nemisis

      ‘prolly a victim of auto-correct….

  • Pipercat

    Ouch! Rakes hurt!!!

  • Tim

    Hey idiot. Try going to a hospital or funeral home. They are FULL of dangerous chemicals. Many are which explosive and flammable.

    • Jonas Planck

      Oh yeah, just TELL the terrorists where to go! Good job, TRAITOR!!!

    • asdf

      What kinds of chemicals? In what quantities? How does the toxicity of the chemicals at the nursing and funeral homes compare to the toxicity of the chemicals at huge chemical plants? What about the quantities of these chemicals? How do they compare in nursing/funeral homes versus huge chemical plants.

      • Ron Speers

        You haven’t heard about the Texas funeral home explosion that leveled the hospital next door, injuring 2 patients?

    • HermeticallySealed

      And yet, nowhere near the amount that could blow up a city block. Context is everything.

    • ziggywiggy

      I don’t think I have EVER heard of a hospital blowing up. Could it be that they are regulated and they don’t store enough of any one thing that could explode? Silly and illogical argument trying to defend chemical companies.

      • Cemetery Girl

        In the past some hospitals have had some pretty serious disasters because of not understanding the materials they were working with. This can be said for chemical and natural materials. Hospitals can have some pretty serious chemicals (acids to solvents for sanitizing, it’s kind of interesting the variety they have uses for), but their quantities aren’t even close to that of a chemical plant. Hospitals are also monitored more closely than chemical companies. Do you think that a hospital can go a couple of decades without any kind of inspection, yet a company like a chemical plant or a coal plant can do this and it doesn’t occur to anyone to inspect them until there’s a disaster.

    • Tim Anderson

      Tim…Can you find me one example of a funeral home blowing up because of their “explosive” chemicals? I googled it…couldn’t find a single example. Nice try at spin though.

    • Cemetery Girl

      Hospitals have a variety of dangerous chemicals. Not the large quantity that would cause an explosion and kill people in the surrounding area, but they are there. They’re also keep them properly marked and stored. Hospitals also collect a very large amount of biohazard waste, which is also handled by strict protocols. (Have your tonsils taken out, they don’t just chuck them in the dumpster.) In the past there have been hospital disasters, around the 1920’s a hospital caught on fire in Cleveland which caused many deaths and toxic gases (primarily the gases were from the x-ray technique of the time), but hospitals don’t explode from the solvents held in them. Improper storage of dangerous materials (chemical or biohazard) is monitored much more closely than factories. An “oops” with a biohazard (because honestly, the volume of biohazard materials is the greatest hospital threat) caused drinking water to be unsafe to use at all the hospital would be ruined, but a coal company can contaminate the drinking water for the portion of a state and it is business as usual.

  • Liberal gal

    Is there something in the water from those chemical plants that make those like him so incredibly unable to think or not be stupid?

    • Chomper Lomper Tawee

      I think Tim’s been smoking too many chemicals!

  • Jonas Planck

    Here’s the thing about P.R. … it may help to build brand value and convince the slow-witted that your business has their interests in mind, but that’s the job of the company, it’s their interest to maximize profits… it is the OPPOSITE of the state’s job, which is to REALLY look out for the interests of constituents. If people don’t know they’re living next to a potential disaster waiting to happen, then hey, great, real estate prices don’t get lowered, and what they don’t know won’t hurt them, right? UNLESS there is another massive explosion or toxic leak, in which case now you not only have to lie about what businesses are doing, but you have to lie about the body count. This doesn’t just equate to worse P.R. in the long run, it represents a deliberate act of inhibiting the proper functioning of capitalism itself. The invisible hand of the market cannot move if the market has no eyes or ears.
    In short, he’s a socialist, he just won’t admit to it. EVER. Because liars never stop lying, even when they’re caught red-handed in a lie.

    • Alex Peterson

      Texas has had numerous explosions (one leveled an entire town and killed 15) from lack of regulation, numerous pollution issues, the air if you can call it air is toxic, and you can actually set fire to the water. 14 years of Koch Bros industries running Texas and all they do is endanger and poison the constituents.

    • Mo Reno

      Can you cite the plank of the socialist party that requires politicians to lie to citizens of behalf of business owners? I just can’t seem to find it anywhere, ever.

      • Jonas Planck

        Well, I’ve scoured the entire internet from front to back, and I still can’t find what you’re looking for. I think the problem is that there’s no actual official socialist party, you mistook my sarcasm for seriousness, and you’re invested in believing that politicians never lie about things or take bribes. Which, by the way, I found a TON of proof for. But it doesn’t specifically say that it’s a requirement for members of a non-existent political party to do that, so I guess you’re right on a technicality.

        Do you have any other pointless tasks for me to perform?

        Preferably one that won’t take more than a year to complete?

      • Mo Reno

        Cool story, I totally believe you.

      • Jonas Planck

        And I totally believe that politicians don’t lie.

        Honest injun.

      • Mo Reno

        Cool story, I totally believe you.

  • Lianne Schneider

    DUHHHHHHHHHHHH. OMG Texans are honestly going to buy this BS? Perry was a complete idiot but this guy is just unbelievably stupid. And that unfortunately, says something very sad about the level of intelligence that is the norm in the state of Texas among voters.

    • Alex Peterson

      Yes they will buy it. He will be the next Governor of Texass, a state with no regulations, where there are no fire regulations, no zoning laws, where fertilizer plants are literally next to schools and hospitals, fertilizer plants that have no fire doors, or sprinkler systems, as that would be to much regulation. Not to mention the water that you can set on fire…….

    • aloryandaneaglet

      he’s unbelievably DEVIOUS. i’m from texas and i really hope we get out the vote and wendy davis beats this guy because otherwise we’re screwed. this guy is rick perry x10 and he’s smart….. he does “dumb”things but he’s smart.

  • David James Zahorik

    I can’t be sure, but Mr. Abbott looks like one of those human/alien hybrids. There’s something about those dead, black eyes…

    • Retired in Glide

      LOL! He does look a bit like those ‘white’ people on Defiance.

  • JudgeX X

    The Koch brothers doctrine of political domination through spending and government lobbying is 100% in line with your average red state mentality of mindless money worship and “job creator” zealotry.

    For every one liberal that wants to “spend your money” on programs to help the poor, sick, or elderly, there are 5 conservatives who want to spend 10 times that amount on the military or tax breaks for a “job creator” (who then automates all of the jobs and keeps the tax break).

    By the numbers, our failures and poverty as a society are very clearly *not* caused by social programs, road building, or women’s rights… but we can easily point a finger at the military industrial complex, never ending middle east wars, insurance companies being completely out of hand, etc, and these are things that red states seem to love the most.

  • acflynn

    Emanating from, not emulating.

  • James Husted

    Whats to stop a terrorist from sending his wife around to do the asking? Kinda makes keeping them secret for security reasons sorta stupid if doing that can get the same information.

    • Kiki Fogg

      True…which really just serves to STRENGTHEN the point that Abbotts’ advice was idiotic.

    • Mike Ryder

      Silly. Terrorists don’t have wives.

  • ShelleysLeg

    But certainly NO terrorist, home grown or otherwise, would drive around like this, would they? No Tim McVeys, right Greg?

    So NOT disclosing the locations that aren’t that difficult to determine guarantees that nothing bad could ever happen!

    Gee, the stupid is strong in Abbott!

    • Curtis Scarbrough

      Don’t you know? Terrorists are all non christian foreigners. All the CONservative pundits say that so it must be true.

  • Rael Imperial Aerosol Kid

    Republicans have this incredible capacity for what sounds like human speech, and yet not one word of it makes any goddammed sense.

    “You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, well, we do have chemicals or we don’t have chemicals, and if they do, they tell which ones they have.”

    • And the question he avoids is why should we, the citizenry, HAVE TO DO THAT? I have a job, a house, and a life. I don’t know diddleysquat about dangerous chemicals, and I don’t have the time to learn. Why should I have to do something that should by all rights be entrusted to the government and the people in it I have elected to protect me?

  • Altreg01

    These idiots would vote for Sarah Palin and/or Michelle Bachmann if they moved to Tex-ASS, they just vote RED no matter what…

    • Avatar

      God I still can’t comprehend why my former home state of MN voted Bachmann to four terms.

  • Altreg01

    I want to blow up the stupidest state in the USA said no terrorist ever…

    • Avatar

      While at same time terrorists are hoping that Rick Perry would wins the 16′ presidential elections because they are aware of how easily to push a Texan button like they did to W. Bush.

  • Secular_Humanist

    The disregard for human life is unbelievable!

  • Andrew Morris

    Greg Abbott is going to be the American equivalent of Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia. But are as nutty, corrupt, and insane as each other.

    • Curtis Scarbrough

      And he’s less qualified to be leader of anything than Bud Abbott

  • Rose Bounds

    Of course by now we all know that private companies won’t tell the truth unless its subpoenaed out of them., which is what makes Abbot’s policies so asinine; but I for one am proud of the woman who did the due diligence and went out there to prove what we all know. Companies are not going to release that information unless the courts force them to. Residents are left vulnerable and unsafe all in the name of preventing terrorism. This is the very opposite of “national security” There’s nothing secure about neighborhood in jeopardy from chemical plants with unknown levels of caustic chemicals.

    • Carolina Prudom

      The GOTP only cares for fetuses and corporations

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        and JEEEEESUS ( tax free)

  • Eg Kbbs

    While Abbot is clearly being a jerk (along the lines of Cheney’s “So”), here are two hints.

    The EPA has a database that goes in this direction called the Toxics Release Inventory. It only involves a limited n8umber of chemicals and the facility has to have above a certain number of employees and release above a threshold amount. But it has a lot of information along these lines. As this site discourages posting links, just google EPA Toxic Release Inventory.

    Also Trucks and Railcars carrying chemicals generally have a square placard, rotated 45 degrees) which lists whether the contents are flammable, corrosive, etc. These include a number. You can download a copy of the DOT “Yellow Book” where you can look up what chemicals the numbers denote.

    Admittedly, who has the resources to combine any information you collect into a nationally available database, but you may be interested to see what is being hauled through your town.

    • Ron Speers

      So trucks transporting dangerous chemicals between two warehouses but the warehouses themselves may remain incognito!

  • Lawrence Devine

    Is global warming causing Texans to lose their marbles? One wonders if there is even one sane politician left down there. The citizens, like everywhere else, get the government they deserve and sadly remain unprotected from dangerous chemicals, environmental despoliation, harmful industrial agents, and no healthcare.

  • One dumb motha *****

  • TexanByAssociation

    It has always been easier to manipulate fools than to influence peers. That’s why Hitler was swept into power by thugs. That’s why Stalin killed all the intellectuals. That’s why Texas is….Texas.

  • giankeys luvs shemale porn

    VOTE TEA PARTY regressive religious scum REPUBLICAN!!!!!!!

  • BobLoblaw

    Interesting. In 2006 I was driving around Waxahachie looking for a place to build a house. I drove down one of the main streets and was immediately consumed in a strong chemical smell. I believe there was a Corning Ware plant or something like that nearby.

    It was horrible! I turned to my friend and jokingly said “well there goes my chance of ever having a baby”. Turned out it wasn’t so much a joke. I can’t blame that for my problems. Maybe I can.

  • Curtis Scarbrough

    I’m sure Mr Abbott will be promptly apologizing for what he said and reverse his position on chemical plants now that it’s been shown that he’s full of it. /snark