Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shock: Chemical industry stands up to Senate bullies

Posted on November 30, 2011 by Steve Milloy on   

Apparently even the squishy and often-greenwashing chemical industry has its limits.  Environment and Energy Daily reports, a testy exchange at a recent hearing on a bill to reform the country’s chemical regulations has driven a significant wedge between a major industry group and Democrats just as Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) prepares to move his landmark legislation.

The feud spawned from a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing earlier this month on Lautenberg’s “Safe Chemicals Act” (S. 847), which would overhaul the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Responding to a question from Lautenberg, American Chemistry Council (ACC) President Cal Dooley said his organization would not provide specific legislative language as an alternative to several parts of the bill to which it objects.

The remark sparked shouting from Democratic Sens. Ben Cardin of Maryland, Tom Udall of New Mexico and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, all of whom charged that ACC needed to provide specifics. Otherwise, they argued, the trade association was only working to defeat the bill.

Two weeks after the hearing, the rift only appears to be widening…The doddering Frank Lautenberg needs ACC buy-in to convince Senate and House Republicans to go along with his planned destruction of the chemical industry.  ACC seems finally to be balking — no easy thing for the Democrat Cal Dooley to do.

But no matter, it should be a safe bet that House Republicans will not go along with Senate Democrats in screwing the chemical industry — even if the industry asks for it.

But we should keep in mind that the Newt Gingrich-led house voted unanimously to approve the Food Quality Protection Act of 196 which has led to the restriction of pesticide use and expansion of EPA efforts on so-called endocrine disrupters.

So Republicans need to be closely monitored.


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