Many companies, such as Clorox, have voluntarily switched to safer chemicals, demonstrating that it can be done. But hard-line chemical companies, led by the Koch brothers, have lobbied relentlessly in Washington to prevent reforms.
High-priced lobbyists for the Koch brothers and other chemical plant owners have for decades prevented effective action on Capitol Hill to make these plants safer from attack or accident. But President Obama has the power to make that happen.
Tens of millions of Americans in major metropolitan areas are at risk of deadly exposure to toxic chemicals. Thousands of chemical facilities are vulnerable to accidents or acts of terrorism, and almost 500 of these facilities are located in or near America's most populous cities.