Obama-era rules that arose from the deadly explosion and fire that tore through a fertilizer storage building in West, Texas in 2013 are in the process of being resurrected by the Biden administration.
They were rules originally opposed by Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin following the disaster.
More than 12,000 facilities, including oil and gas and petrochemical plants would be directly affected by the rules designed to prevent fires, leaks, spills and explosions. The rules implemented in 2017 were later revoked by the Trump administration according to Oil and Gas Watch.
In 2017 during the Obama administration, Congressman Mullin moved to introduce the Congressional Review Act which would have blocked the EPA’s proposed Risk Management Programs rule.
“Predictably, the Obama Administration continued to issue harmful and overreaching regulations until the bitter end,” Mullin said in announcing his bill.
“The EPA’s RMP rule is no exception. It trades safety for paperwork and delivers far more burden than benefit for businesses that have to abide by it. The RMP rule wraps our businesses up in more bureaucratic red tape and makes it more difficult for them to keep their doors open, risking not only safety but also valuable jobs. This joint resolution provides much needed relief.”
Sen. Inhofe joined Mullin in an op-ed published in The Hill in which they continued their opposition to the Obama administration plan.
“Currently, Obama’s midnight regulation mandates chemical facilities publicly release sensitive information to anybody that asks, essentially handing a road map over to anyone wishing to do these facilities harm. Our chemical facilities and our communities are without question more vulnerable and more likely to be targeted as a direct result of this rule. The current administration has made national security a top priority, and blocking this rule follows suit, keeping our communities, facilities and first responders safe.”
The EPA, under the Biden administration wants to bring back the proposed regulations. Three virtual public hearings will be held Sept. 26, 27 and 28.