EPA Gives Chemical Company that Donated Bigly to Trump Permission to Poison You
Trump EPA’s New Auto-Response to Business: ‘Sure!’
Dow Chemical Company’s stock has been riding high since the election in November. The chemical giant has done very well with the Donald Trump administration, quickly forming something of a symbiotic relationship. That relationship has now developed to the point where the Trump administration is choosing not to enforce regulations that stop the company from poisoning people, ThinkProgress reported Thursday.
Dow donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund. It was recently revealed that the inauguration fund doubled the costs of Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, previously the record holder, despite attracting a far smaller crowd. The fund topped out at $106.7 million. Most of that that came from big corporations like Dow, as well as Bank of America, Boeing, Pfizer, Qualcomm, and billionaires like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. It’s not clear how much of that was used, or how, since the FEC does not require reporting on that. Now, companies and individuals who donated big seem to have significant access to the White House, and seem to be finding that regulatory red tape that was previously in their way is quickly being shredded.
Trump appointed Dow president and CEO Andrew Liveris as head of the American Business Council. In March, Liveris said that Trump has “managed to move the ball in 45 days on regulatory reform more than in the previous eight years,” This “reform” has begun to resemble letting corporations like Dow do whatever the hell they want.
In March, the EPA, under anti-EPA director Scott Pruitt, decided to ignore a strong call from health and environmental experts to ban the use of chlorpyrifos, a powerful insecticide that has been linked to brain and neurological damage. Farmers using the substance, and children in the area, are especially susceptible. The chemical has been in use since the 1960s, but a growing amount of evidence of harmful effects had led to a strong push to ban it from consumer advocates and health and environmental activists. Chlorpyrifos is developed by Dow AgroSciences.
On Thursday, the AP reported that lawyers representing Dow wrote letters to three departments of the Trump administration asking them to ignore a study conducted by federal scientists which found that a class of insecticides developed by Dow and other companies is harmful to the environment and threatens 1,800 endangered species. The class of chemicals is called organophosphates, and includes chlorpyrifos.
With Dow on a winning streak, and Trump’s unprecedentedly pro-business White House open for blatantly corrupt dealmaking, it’s a safe bet that Dow will continue getting whatever it wants, and the federal government will ignore the advice of its own experts. Children growing up near farms and endangered species will just have to wait for the next administration.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
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Marc Belisle is the Reverb Press World Affairs Editor. He is a writer, activist and teacher. He has a Master’s degree in International Conflict Analysis from the Brussels School of International Studies. READ MORE BY MARC.