Monique Harden

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Ounce of prevention vs. $300,000 in campaign contributions

Congress to date has failed to set requirements under the general-duty clause to reduce risks of toxic releases from industrial facilities. photo: redcrayon, all rights reserved

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil drilling disaster, Louisiana’s two U.S. Senators, Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, and David Vitter, a Republican, did not call for more research.  Like most rational people, they called for safety measures to mitigate the potentially devastating impact of future disasters. You might think it was a no-brainer, then, that they’d eagerly back a proposal to step up safety measures at industrial facilities such as oil refineries and water treatment plants—in Louisiana alone there are more than 100.