Page 26


TM GET THE STATE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS ON-LINE Tough, investigative reporting; the wit and good sense of Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower; Political Intelligence; insightful cultural analysis; and much more. Check out Molly Ivins’ special subscription offer,’ too! Subscribe on-line or call The Texas Observer at 800-939-6620 b THE TEXAS server Something Sweet Like the story the philosopher Davenport would tell about ice cream shipped to Africa and the response elicited by his Nigerian friend who thought his mouth was on fire… Something sweet like blue fire Something of the Flannery O’ Conner dream Jet dog in the distance stone-poised, unblinking My father walking carrying medicine Eyes on the dog waiting for sound, muscle. Some kind of omen materializing words of the dream: “I’m Satan’s messenger and he’s coming for you as a black dog on a damp night.” Something sweet like cold fire My brother, Joel, biting women on the butt A pint-sized demon himself hijacking unsuspecting nalgas. Something sweet like heat radiating from dead wood, an apparition of a monkey sporting a grandmother get-up. Get up Grandmother, that old wolf is here and he’s coming to bite you on the nalgas. MARY GRACE RODRIGUEZ For submission guidelines for the next Poesia Tejana series, write Wings Press, 627 East Guenther, San Antonio 78210; “[email protected] “. The deadline is August 1, 1999. “Toxic Waste,” from page 15 Then, as if on cue, Ron Wilson played the race card, describing “black children in Houston walking by buildings filled with rusting drums of radioactive waste.” And Ron Lewis played the dumb card, urging the House to accept Walker’s amendment, because “Andrews wants it,” and to thereby create a dumpsite for waste generated by industries and utilities in Texas. Neither of the Rons’ arguments was remotely related to Department of Energy waste; disposal of the much lower volume of commercial radioactive waste they described was covered in the bill they wanted to amend. “I don’t want any waste from outside the compact coming into Texas,” Talton argued, referring to D.O.E. waste that cannot be regulated by the state. But two months’ work by two dozen lobbyists was more than Chisum, Allen and Talton hardly candidates for recruitment into the Texas Green Party could turn around in three hours. The House voted 94 to 38 to adopt the Walker amendment and open the door to Department of Energy waste. Not even a breathless, last minute appeal by Appropriations Committee Chair Rob Junell, who raced into the chamber just after the vote, could persuade the House to reconsider. “Am I to understand that as this stands now, there is nothing in your [amended] bill that protects the state from financial liability for damage done by a private company?” Junell asked from the back mike. Chisum answered Junell’s rhetorical question then asked to withdraw his bill an almost unprecedented move so close to final passage. “I’m going to pull the bill down if they don’t take this amendment off. The environmental risks are too great….” Chisum said in an interview after the debate. He argued that current law is preferable to what Walker’s amendment would allow. “We can leave the waste in the back yard of the state of Texas. That’s where it is now in those hundreds of sites all over Texas. I’d rather do that than bring in Department of Energy waste from all over the country. “They have got thirty-seven of the highest paid lobbyists in Texas working on this deal and they’ve got a lot of commitment on the floor,” Chisum added, shortly after he asked the House to defer its vote. Asked who “they” were, Chisum was straightforward: “I mean Waste Control Specialists Waste Control Specialists, that’s who funded this thing. The principal in that is Harold Simmons out of Dallas; Kent Hance is another principal. They are the ones that are driving this train now. They are the ones that are going to take this D.O.E. waste.” \(Chisum later said that W.C.S. has twentyAs the House adjourned, Chisum repeated that unless the amendment is withdrawn, he will work to kill his own bill. He added that it is rare for a bill to be passed over the objection of its author, yet seemed concerned that the Waste Control Specialists lobbyists will push the bill right over him. “We may be in a situation where we’re going to get D.O.E. waste and there’s not anything anybody can do about it.” MAY 14, 1999 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 25