(FYI: This bill will be reconsidered on Monday!! – promoted by blogswarm)
The Graduate is a truly excellent movie. If you haven’t seen it, you should. And in this scene, Dustin Hoffman’s character gets some advice…on plastics. This has always been what I’ve imagined chemical lobbyists to look/act like. Except, the throw more money around to Republicans and “ModSquad” Dems (as opposed to GoodSquad Dems, who, you know, support their constituents) who are comfortable denying scientific evidence.
So, which denial am I talking about? Well, AB 1108, a bill authored by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (GoodDem-SF) would ban the toxic chemical phthalate, which has already been banned for sale in the City and County of San Francisco. It’s used in, you guessed it, plastics. Most worryingly, it is used in plastic toys for children. The scientific evidence is there, but unfortunately, so is the California Chemistry Council.
But, the bill might come back to the floor, so call your legislator and ask them to vote YES on AB 1108. 11 legislators abstained (see the vote here) and we only need five more YES votes to pass the bill. Over…
From Capitol Weekly:
The debate over all of these bills often sounds eerily similar to the debate over global warming, with advocates urging quick action, citing scientific proof of pending dangers. Opponents, meanwhile, question the scientific validity of the proponents’ claims and balk at the potential economic impact of new regulations.
Ma said the opposition to her bill, led by the California Chemistry Council, as vigorous because of the precedent her bill may set for other measures pending in the Legislature this year. “I understand the industry feels this is a slippery slope–that once one ban passes, it opens up the floodgates. And other states are looking to California to see what we do. I think this has national implications” for the chemical industry.
Supporters of the Ma bill were unmoved by the rationales against the bill. “Legislators do a lot of things that they are not experts on, and they vote on them all the time,” says Environment California’s Dan Jacobson. Jacobson said many members were “hiding behind the chemical industry’s conflicting science.”
Ma said some members were “hiding behind Governor Schwarzenegger’s green-chemistry initiative. But he has no plan, no timetable, no list of chemicals. There’s nothing in it.”
Tim Shestek of the American Chemistry Council says the green-chemistry initiative is “something that we would see as an opportunity instead of these rifle-shot approaches in the Legislature.”
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, … [said] “The industry says they want a wider, more comprehensive approach. [Last year’s] AB 990 was a wider, more comprehensive approach that would have involved all the interested parties, and they fought that tooth and nail. The chemical industry in California is going to fight these bills. The Legislature has to have the will to overcome that.”
Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. The members of the Assembly need to take the lead on these issues. The state of California needs to take the lead on these issues, because you know the Consumer Products Safety Commission, which is just chock full of manufacturing industry Bush-appointees, isn’t going to take the lead.
Hats off to Asm. Ma, now, let’s help her get those last five votes.