FEMA Denies Aid to Texas for Blast

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rdowns, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    Jul 11, 2003
    #1
    I'd like to think that politics wasn't a factor here. I do eagerly await Governor Small Govt. Perry's response.


    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/apnewsbreak-fema-denies-aid-texas-blast
     
  2. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #2
    Doesn't FEMA work more with natural disasters not man made ones?

    The plant should be responsable for rebuilding the town not the government.
     
  3. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #3
    Silly rabbit, FEMA doesn't work... :rolleyes:

    FWIW while the focus appears to be natural disasters, the recovery support functions don't appear limited to only natural disasters.
    <source>
     
  4. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #4
    If this turns out to be negligence by the plant owners why should the government foot the bill?
     
  5. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #5
    Because the plant was only insured for $1 million.

    A town was destroyed. Costs a bit more than $1 million.
     
  6. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #6
    How much are the owners of the plant worth? I would imagine there would be some lawsuits against who ever was responsable for the explosion.
     
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #7
    That's an important question. I'm sure there isn't an owner in the sense of it being an actual person, remember that the company can be an entity on it's own so the people that run it have reduced liability.
     
  8. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #8
    But the total worth might come into play when paying out damages.
     
  9. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #9
    I'm not saying the government should pay for everything but here's what's going to happen:
    1)Regardless of fault, the corporation nor their insurance company will be able to "pay the bill". The plant will declare bankruptcy, and insurance payouts will be capped leaving the community in deficit.
    2) The proceeds from the bankruptcy will go to debtors, including the town but they might not get all of it.
    3) What remains after the corporations insurance and the proceeds of the bankruptcy will need to come from somewhere. It is likely that unless the owners can be held criminally responsible for the event, their assets are safe. It is also likely that even if they are responsible, that their assets would still be insufficient to cover "the bill".
    4) The communities remaining deficit should be aided (in part) by federal and state funding to help rebuild infrastructure and loss of property not covered by the corporation or their insurance.

    The last part (4) is where people start to disagree, it's a social contract thing. Some say "Why should the government help?", the answer is simple. These people paid into the same system as everyone else, a system where there are mechanisms in place to aid recovery in the event of a disaster.
     
  10. iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    #10
    I love how these guys who hate the federal government and make a big deal about "state's rights" always end up asking the federal government for help. If I was in charge, I would make these guy get on their hands and knees and grovel for assistance.

    As for who's responsible and should be paying for aid and rebuilding, it should be the owners of the fertilizer plant. No need to offload the financial burden that a private corporation incurred with a disaster like this onto us the taxpayer.
     
  11. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #11
    1. FEMA explained that the "severity and magnitude" of the damage did not warrant a declaration of major disaster. Compare the area affected to the recent tornado damage in Oklahoma and that difference becomes apparent.

    2. You can't sue a tornado. When a natural disaster strikes there are fewer opportunities for seeking remuneration. In this case, however, the fertilizer company can be sued. Granted, it's probably not capable of paying for all the damages, and liquidating the company will only further damage the community. But perhaps this is the occasion where the state of Texas bears the responsibility for making the community whole.
     
  12. unlinked macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    $40,000,000 for schools seems a little excessive for a town of 2800. That is $14K per person.
     
  13. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #13
    The government should provide the immediate assistance this town needs. Then, after years of legal wrangling, the plant owners should be made to pay back the costs to the government. Making people wait on insurance companies and the courts would be immoral. Anybody who has had to deal with a major insurance claim will understand what I mean.
     
  14. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #14
    According to the article, FEMA has provided some assistance ...

     
  15. tshrimp macrumors 6502

    tshrimp

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    #15
    I need to think about this more, and might agree with you here, but couldn't you say the same for New Orleans? They built a city below sea level and it flooded. Because of the States negligence why should the federal government foot the bill?

    I am just playing devils advocate while I think about this one. :)
     
  16. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #16
    The US didn't technically build New Orleans. As for Texas, they really need to examine their zoning laws.
     
  17. tshrimp macrumors 6502

    tshrimp

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    #17
    True that is why I said state :) (and not sure how cities get approval. Maybe someone with more knowledge of this can chime in, but again just playing devils advocate as I think NO needed aid), and someone from Texas please correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't each city decide their own zoning laws. I went through Houston (horribly hot) one time and houses right next to businesses and then went through Dallas area and houses and businesses seemed very separated.

    Has anyone found a link on how FEMA has responded to these type of disasters in the past?
     
  18. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #18
    I don't have time to find one yet for you (on my way to work), but the OP's link did have a reference to the gas pipeline explosion in NorCal.

    That would be the PG&E gas pipeline incident in San Bruno, CA, from a year and a bit ago. FEMA assisted, but denied the same things to San Bruno that they denied to West. If you googled that, you'll definitely find something for sure.

    BL.
     
  19. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #19
    Was New Orleans actually built below sea level? Or has sea level risen since it was first built? Or has some of New Orleans sunk since it was built (subsidence of the ground)?

    The Mississippi river annually deposits tons of sediment along its path (see map of New Orleans to see where the river is). These deposits raise the riverbed, so the riverbed is in some sense continually rising above New Orleans. Absent all humans, this would eventually cause the river to overflow its current banks and make a new path to the Gulf. There are a lot of humans who don't want that to happen, and as a result there's a lot of engineering that goes into keeping the riverbed where it is.
     
  20. rdowns thread starter macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #20
    I seem to remember Obama visiting there and promising that America would stand with them. We're talking a lousy $57 million. At its height, the Afghanistan War cost us $300 million A DAY.
     
  21. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #21
    FEMA work in real time situations, they coordinate on all resources air and ground, and dispatch the required resources to the situation.

    `they are not responsible, nor do they control any form of Government funds.
     
  22. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #22
    And IIRC, the levees that failed were built by the Army Corps of Engineers, so there was some connection to the damage and the federal government.
     
  23. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #23
    Well, that depends on the city. Some cities were colonial, some cities were formed because of a Spanish mission. Others formed in the 19th Century because of resources and railroads. So, New Orleans, La. is a totally different situation than a modern planned community like Sugar Land, Texas.

    Zoning laws are set by a combination of state and local laws. Generally speaking, the state creates a template that the cities and counties are free to modify.

    FEMA's response is varied. In 2010, the agency denied the declaration for a pipeline explosion in Calif. and in 2012, it refused to declare for storm damage in Florida.

    However, that doesn't mean that FEMA isn't helping West, Texas. The agency is handing out $7.5 million in direct grants to less than 800 applicants. This includes loans from the SBA.


    Keep in mind, if you refuse to give FEMA support for people who "oughta' know better" you have to reject grants to people in Colorado Springs, Co. who may be losing their homes to fires, people in Mass. who lost their homes to freezing and flooding, as well as those in Okla., S.D., etc.
     
  24. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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    #24
    Oh for Pete sake, there's more to FEMA assistance than individuals trying to sue a tornado. One simple example is aid going to four Massachusettes counties to recover a large portion of eligible expenses such as law enforcement and fire department overtime incurred from the marathon bombings.

    FEMA's mission is to support citizens directly and indirectly through local government and first responders.

    FEMA doesn't feel the Texas blast rises to level of a national disaster then so be it, but FEMA aid isn't limited to natural disasters or direct aid to individuals.
     
  25. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #25
    I'm glad you got that, "Oh for Pete sake," out of your system.

    [repressed crankiness can raise one's blood pressure]

    But what part of you post rebuts any point that I made?
     

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