Spring Break for Polluters

Rick Hind
March 20, 2015
On March 10th, to the applause of the chemical lobby, a bill (S. 697) on toxic chemical regulation was introduced in the Senate. What got people’s attention in Washington was the fact that the bill also had Democratic co-sponsors thanks to a full court press by the chemical lobby. Of course, not everyone who sponsors a bill ends up voting for it but if these Senate Democrats also vote for this bill it could become law.
Of course outside the Beltway people were wondering why the chemical lobby (DuPont, Dow, Exxon) is urging Congress to pass legislation on toxic chemicals. Have they finally come around to Rachel Carson’s way of thinking? Hardly, for the next two years the chemical lobby has the best Congress their campaign cash can buy. In fact, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, “a Senate IT staffer told Boxer’s office, ‘We can confidently say that the [bill]was created by a user with American Chemistry Council…”
Anyone familiar with the federal toxic chemical control law (TSCA) knows that it’s the weakest of all environmental statutes. So why would the chemical lobby want to change that? In their own words they want “predictability, consistency and certainty that manufacturers and the national marketplace need…”
Translation: they want to stop states from restricting toxic chemical use in every day products.