Since 2005, the oil train traffic in North America has increased 40 fold. At any given moment, some nine million barrels of crude oil are being transported around North America. Yet we haven't seen any real improvements in the safety of these trains.
We register on the American imagination in three phases. First we are ignored. Then we are vilified. Finally, we are accepted -- but only as a consumer group. We are hardly ever thought of as intellectuals. That has to change.
This 90-percent Latino community is literally surrounded by petrochemical facilities that spew at least eight carcinogens into the air. The levels of one of them, benzene, are so high that living in Manchester is tantamount to being stuck in traffic 24/7.
It is in the hands of the EPA that Rosa Perea's 5-year-old son and hundreds of thousands of other Latino kids -- the most punished by asthma -- will see themselves freed from the cruelty of this disease.