|methylene deathylene - © Robert Sommers 2017|
I am not an economist. I have no idea how the new tax cut will eventually shake out. I have my suspicions, but they won't even buy you a cup of coffee, especially at today's inflated prices. I hope that like a broken clock, the Republicans are right this time and that the net effects will not merely shift more money over to the upper 1% but have positive implications for the rest of us. Time will tell. They certainly took care of their base.
And if I may be permitted to vent one last time before everybody gets warm, toasty and christmasy, I want to deliver a piece of coal to Scott Pruitt over at the EPA. Of course, these people really love coal but maybe not where I want them to put it.
The EPA has decided to postpone a ban on three chemicals, methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), both ingredients in paint strippers, and trichloroethylene (TCE), used as a spot cleaner in dry-cleaning and as a degreasing agent. The former is estimated to have killed over 56 people since 1980 who were stripping bathtubs, stripping furniture or glueing carpet. Bad shit.
It has been several years since the E.P.A. first declared these applications of the three chemicals to be dangerous. The agency itself has found TCE “carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure” and has reported that it causes developmental and reproductive damage.The EPA recently wrote that it was adopting a "commonsense, balanced approach (that) carefully protects both public health and the environment while curbing unnecessary regulatory burdens that stifle economic growth for communities across the country.” I fail to see how this is helping the mission. Screw economic growth when you are getting in bed with death merchants.
“Potential health concerns from exposure to trichloroethylene, based on limited epidemiological data and evidence from animal studies, include decreased fetal growth and birth defects, particularly cardiac birth defects,” agency officials noted in 2013.
Methylene chloride is toxic to the brain and liver, and NMP can harm the reproductive system.
The new regulatory plan moved the chemicals from the proposed rule category to “long term action." Which apparently means never to be heard of again.
"All three chemicals have been extensively studied and associated with both illness and death," Daniel Rosenberg, senior attorney at the National Resource Defence Council (NRDC), wrote in his blog. "The next death(s) due to inhalation of methylene chloride will truly be on the hands of Scott Pruitt, Nancy Beck and President Trump."These three substances were a part of a list of ten that were required to be studied and regulated by the TSCA provision of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act.
ban was scheduled to take place the day before President Trump's inauguration but the HSIA, or Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance, successfully lobbied to shelve and then put the ban in a permanent deep freeze.
I am not a religious man and have zero faith in a hereafter. But if I am wrong on that, like maybe I will be wrong on the tax cuts implications for our economy, I hope these there is a special place in hell for these evil, despicable people.
Shit is flying at the EPA. Literally.
Postscript 12/21/17- The EPA is shelving the ban on the brain damaging pesticide chlorpyrifos, which was scheduled to go into effect earlier this year, until at least 2022. It is an obvious coincidence that Dow Chemical, the maker of the nerve agent, was actively fighting against the ban and gave our President Trump a million dollar donation at his inauguration.
“Unfortunately for millions of parents and their young children, Scott Pruitt is the head of the EPA,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “If it were someone else it’s quite possible current and future generations of kids would have been spared from being exposed to chlorpyrifos and the neurological deficits it triggers.”