Bennie Thompson introduces chemical industry security bill

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, introduced his long-anticipated chemical industry security bill this week, H.R. 2868, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009. On Tuesday the committee held a hearing on the bill, and on Thursday the mark-up is scheduled.

The chemical industry, already disadvantaged in the United States by energy costs and the U.S. regulatory and legal climate, is alarmed by the legislation. We note that the bill’s cosponsors include the zealous regulators Reps. Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Henry Waxman of California. Reason for alarm, we’d say.

The bill also marks the continued political and legislative advance of the litigation industry with addition of a private right of action contained in Section 2216, “Citizen Suit.” In his prepared statement, Chairman Thompson mentioned the new language but did not address what would seem to be a key question, that is: Why?

Point of Law