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Texas Blast Recalls Chemical Safety Bill Sunk by Business Lobby

As lawmakers pushed a bill to tighten U.S. security standards on chemical factories, fertilizer depots and water-treatment plants in 2009, they faced a formidable opponent: the U.S. business community.

Mining companies, refiners, paint makers, explosive fabricators and fertilizer plants combined in a multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign to stop the measure. Two of the capital’s most potent lobbying forces -- the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Farm Bureau -- labeled it a “key vote” of the year. The bill, called a highwater mark of chemical-safety efforts by one supporter, passed the House of Representatives, only to die without a vote in the Senate.