As Congressional offices are getting blitzed about rewriting our chemical laws in favor of industry, campaign coffers of these same members of Congress are growing flush with new chemical money, according to recent reports. It’s a distasteful system, and it could result in more toxic chemicals entering our homes.
Last month, the Center for Public Integrity told us Dow Chemical spent more than $5 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2014, about 60 percent more than the year before. American Chemistry Council spending was up by about one-third. Today comes news from the Environmental Working Group that’s perhaps more disturbing: industry political contributions are climbing alongside the lobbying frenzy.
Payoff Working – for Industry, Not Americans
Is it paying off for the chemical industry? It would seem so. Andy Igrejas, our director, recently said in Congressional testimony that it would have been unthinkable a year ago that the kind of rollbacks being proposed might even have been considered. And now, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is rapidly advancing legislation called the “Chemicals in Commerce Act,” that would rollback existing protections to help regulate toxic chemicals in consumer products. The bill may get a mark-up in just a few weeks, and the Beltway rumor mill says a House floor vote could follow shortly thereafter.
The bill is an industry wish-list that would provide less health information to the public about toxic chemicals, would disempower states from taking action, and would set the bar so high to regulate a dangerous chemical that even the nastiest stuff like asbestos would likely stay on the market.
The industry may have millions of dollars to spread around, but there are millions of us who want real reform of our nation’s chemical laws that puts people’s health first. Make your voice heard, click here and tell your member of Congress you don’t support phony reform.