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West, Texas

West, TX, yesterday.

I think I speak for everyone reading when I say that the people of West, TX, the first responders to the tragedy, and others there are in our thoughts, prayers, and practice.

If you’d like to know what you can do to help with efforts to help, the local affiliate of CBS News offers this useful link, and KBTX Media offers this one.

In addition, ThinkProgress reports:

The [West Fertilizer] plant hasn’t been inspected in the past five years, and in fact only six Texas fertilizer plants were inspected in that time. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is chronically understaffed, which means that a given plant like West Fertilizer can only expect to get a state inspection once every 67 years on average.

This needs to change immediately. I encourage you to pay attention to this issue, and when I know what substantive steps you can take to help make that happen, I will share them with you.

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