For those who missed it:
“Chemical lobby set to gut U.S. toxic chemical regulations,
by Eric Nelson, Wed. March 18, 2015 at 01:12 am PDT
Chemical lobbyist exposed as author of new bill to regulate industry
Rachel Maddow reports on the discovery that a draft of a new law to make much-needed updates to regulations on the chemical industry was authored by the American Chemistry Council, the leading trade organization and lobbyist for the chemical industry.
The last time U.S. toxic chemical regulations were updated was 39 years ago. Since then many states have opted to enact stricter safety standards than those Federal standards of the past to keep pace with newer chemicals and innovations developed over the years as well as the latest methods to evaluate toxic chemical hazards more accurately. These state standards are now in jeopardy as new Federal regulations are in the making that would cap and essentially override safer more complete laws in some states. California is one of those states. There are many more.
A reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle discovered that a Microsoft Word draft of the new Federal regulations soon on its way to congress was authored by the American Chemistry Council. The Lobbying firm has denied they wrote the Bill. Further investigation by IT experts proved that denial to be untrue.
In recent days, a draft of the bill — considered the product of more than two years of negotiation and collaboration between Sen. David Vitter, R-La., Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and both chemical industry and environmental groups — was circulated by Udall’s office ahead of the hearing. The draft bill, obtained by Hearst Newspapers, is in the form of a Microsoft Word document. Rudimentary digital forensics — going to “advanced properties” in Word — shows the “company” of origin to be the American Chemistry Council.
Senator Barbara Boxer weighed in:
“Call me old-fashioned, but a bill to protect the public from harmful chemicals should not be written by chemical industry lobbyists. The voices of our families must not be drowned out by the very industry whose documented harmful impacts must be addressed, or the whole exercise is a sham,” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said Monday.
Boxer, who chaired the committee when the Democrats held the majority, and Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., have introduced an alternative version of the bill with much more stringent regulatory provisions.
Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, who will testify against the bill at Wednesday’s hearing had this to say:
“We’re apparently at the point in the minds of some people in the Congress that laws intended to regulate polluters are now written by the polluters themselves,”
Indeed. I’m glad some people are doing their jobs. And thank you Senator Ed Markey and others on top of this for showing how it’s done.
… petition link: Don’t Abolish State Protections Against Toxic Chemicals.” http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/264/658/327/?z00m=22771723&redirectID=1622978190 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/18/1371650/-Chemical-lobby-set-to-gut-U-S-toxic-chemical-regulations# © Kos Media, LLC The original has links embedded, which the reader may be interested in. The original author noted that this was old at his posting. Now it is almost a week later, but very relevant.
When the Dems controlled the Senate, Markey and Boxer held at least 10 hearings, between 2011 and Dec. 2014, trying to get the NRC-nuclear industry to implement “lessons learned” from Fukushima, to virtually no avail. That was another round of “Nuclear-gate” hearings. There have been several such rounds over the last decades, but the NRC continues to get by with murder. For how much longer?