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two tourists with black umbrellas, Pecos Pueblo

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Bought and paid for

David Bernhardt - Tami Heilemann
Interesting story in the New York Times yesterday. The current nominee for Interior Secretary, David Bernhardt, intervened to block an endangered species report that dealt with the effects of pesticides on a multitude of animals, including foxes and sparrows. 

Scientists at the Department of Fish and Wildlife had produced the reports after years of study and analysis.
Their analysis found that two of the pesticides, malathion and chlorpyrifos, were so toxic that they “jeopardize the continued existence” of more than 1,200 endangered birds, fish and other animals and plants, a conclusion that could lead to tighter restrictions on use of the chemicals.
But just before the team planned to make its findings public in November 2017, something unexpected happened: Top political appointees of the Interior Department, which oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, blocked the release and set in motion a new process intended to apply a much narrower standard to determine the risks from the pesticides.
I'm not a religious man, but find myself wishing for a place in the afterlife called hell, a fitting place for the David Bernhardts of this world. And their cronies at Dow Chemical.
Dow, which was recently renamed Corteva, donated $1 million to Mr. Trump’s inauguration committee. E.P.A. and Interior Department records show that top pesticide industry executives had regular access to senior agency officials, pressing them to reconsider the way the federal government evaluates the threat pesticides cause to endangered species. 
A Dow spokesman said the shift in policy was unrelated to the $1 million contribution.

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