When a Congressional office calls you, you deliver. And there’s nothing like a Monday morning phone call to get things rolling for #ChemistryMatters! Thank you to Congressman Blake Farenthold’s office in Corpus Christi, Texas, for reaching out and wanting to get to know the industry.
Due to the Congressman’s recent appointment as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy and Environment, he wanted to set up meetings with industry representatives to discuss any issues with environmental regulations. We were happy to oblige Rep. Farenthold in late February with both a site visit and a well-attended industry roundtable.
The first event down in South Texas, was a site visit at LyondellBasell’s Corpus Christi Complex. The Congressman enjoyed visiting with some of the 300 employees and contractors who make the more than 2,000 acre plant run every day. The site produces ethylene, propylene and other petrochemical products, which are later converted into plastics for consumer products such as food packaging, personal care products, etc. It would be a fair assumption that you have probably already come in contact with one of these items today before reading this post.
Visiting this plastic-producing powerhouse was not a wrap on the week, though, as we later sat down with the Congressman in his office with a group of industry representatives. Due to the Congressman’s recent subcommittee appointment, he reached out to facilitate conversations with the industry so that he could maintain an effective working relationship with the industry and the Environmental Protection Agency.
We had a great discussion about EPA’s unnecessary and safety-compromising Risk Management Plan rule. The rule, which was adopted nearly 20 years ago, contains requirements that existed before EPA’s proposed update that have been highly effective in preventing accidental chemical releases when correctly implemented and enforced.
Since the original implementation of RMP, accidents nationwide have steadily declined, roughly 60% over time based on EPA data. Discussing this with the Congressman, we left the meeting confident that the industry has a friend in Washington who will look out for tedious regulations that impede the chemical manufacturing industry’s contribution to economic growth and productivity.
Thank you to our friend in Texas’ deep south 27th district, and we look forward to getting together to discuss #ChemistryMatters in the future.