After blocking the public from seeing state records detailing where dangerous chemicals are being stored, Texas attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott says Texans concerned about the issue should just "drive around" to companies asking them what chemicals they store. "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," Abbott said. Well. Who could have predicted that things might not work out exactly that way?
WFAA chose a couple businesses not far from downtown Dallas. First up was Oxy Chemical, where the plant manager seemed eager to comply. But, 15 minutes later, things started to look less promising.Another company actually closed its gates on the reporters when they attempted to get video of chemicals being stored in plain sight.
WFAA was told to take up the request with an Oxy Chemical corporate communications manager in Los Angeles. That manager said he wasn't familiar with Tier II sheets nor Attorney General Abbott's directive for businesses to merely turn them over to the public. WFAA left empty handed.
So for Texans, the whereabouts of large quantities of dangerous chemicals is going to remain a mystery, even though their attorney general and would-be governor says "You, as a community member of this state, can go to any chemical facility in the entire state of Texas and say, 'Identify for me all chemicals you have on your facility.' And you are entitled to get that information." But when the attorney general has already blocked the information from public release, exactly who is going to enforce the rights of the "community member of this state"?