Friday, March 13, 2009

Anti-IST Public Relations Campaign

An article posted on on Wednesday describes a letter to Congress prepared by a “broad coalition of chemical, refining, industrial and agricultural interests” that urges Congress to re-authorize the CFATS regulations without making major changes. In many ways this letter parallels a letter sent to Congress last fall by a coalition of labor, environmental, and safety advocacy groups urging passage of HR 5577, a bill that would have made significant changes to CFATS..

 Unfortunately, the link on the site that is supposed to be to a copy of the letter is actually a link to an API letter to DHS from 2007. This means that I have not actually seen a copy of the letter described in the article. This makes it difficult to evaluate the potential effectiveness of the arguments presented. The article provides a few quotes pointing out the ‘coalition’s’ opposition to “disrupting this security programme (sic) by adding provisions that would mandate government-favoured (sic) substitutions, weaken protection of sensitive information, impose stifling penalties for administrative errors, create conflicts with other security standards or move away from a performance (or risk-based) approach”. is a British based web-site that reports on the chemical industry. This explains the ‘strange’ (from this side of the Atlantic) spelling found in the quotes. I’m assuming that the editors at the site ‘corrected’ the spelling of ‘programme’ and ‘favoured’. If anyone can point me at a copy of this letter, I would appreciate it. I would be interested in seeing how effective the advocacy actually is.

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