Wendy Davis clearly won her exchange with Greg Abbott over whether the public had the right to know where dangerous chemicals may be stored. Abbott had previously ruled that “government can withhold state records of dangerous chemicals locations [from the public].” Abbott’s advice to families concerned about the issue bordered on the preposterous: “You know where they are if you drive around,” he said. “You can ask every facility whether they have chemicals or not. If they do, they can tell which ones they have. Homeowners who think they might live near stores of dangerous chemicals would simply ask the companies what substances are kept on site.”
I can just imagine homeowners taking an after-dinner stroll around their neighborhoods. “Honey, let’s go look for dangerous chemicals tonight.” This is absurd. The state ought to be required to reveal where chemicals are stored near schools or businesses. Abbott’s reluctance to do so is based upon the possibility that terrorists might find out. He should acknowledge that families have the right to know if and where chemicals are stored.
This ought to be a no-brainer.
(AP Image / LM Otero)