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Fossil Fuel-Funded Lawmakers Want to Weaken Human and Environmental Health Protections

Fossil Fuel-Funded Lawmakers Want to Weaken Human and Environmental Health Protections

Americans consistently support environmental safeguards by wide margins. A survey of likely 2016 voters, for instance, found that 91 percent of Americans endorse strengthening drinking water and air pollution protections, 87 percent want expanded renewable energy development, and 82 percent would like the government to place limits on power plant carbon pollution.

Texas Republican Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science Committee, wants to make it more difficult for the EPA to do its job. Photo credit: The Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy

Despite those numbers, industry-backed legislators in both houses of Congress have been introducing—and reintroducing—benign-sounding bills over the last few years that would do the exact opposite of what a solid majority of Americans want. The sponsors of these Trojan Horse bills claim they would increase accountability and transparency, but in fact they would obstruct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies from enacting science-based rules, setting back public health and environmental protections for decades to come.

Three of the four bills have already passed in the House, and three have been introduced in the Senate, where they died in previous sessions. If a Senate sponsor attaches any or all of them to an omnibus or must-pass budget bill this session, however, they just might elude President Obama's promised veto pen. The result? They would tie up federal agencies with bureaucratic red tape, limit the data they could use, deter independent scientists from participating and give corporations even more influence over the rulemaking process.

"These bills are based on a set of false premises concerning the science advisory process for federal agencies," said Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and lead author of a May 29 Science article on congressional attacks on science. "Let's be clear about what's happening here: Special interests find the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and other laws that protect public health and safety inconvenient, so they're attacking the science to roll back those protections."

Undermining Federal Agency Rulemaking

Perhaps the broadest assault on federal agencies is the proposed Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would give Congress the final say over major regulations. The bill would require Congress to approve any new or updated regulation with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more, giving both houses of Congress 70 business days to approve the rule. If either failed to act, the agency would have to wait until the next legislative session.

The House passed the REINS Act in 2011 and 2013, but it languished in the Senate. In January, Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) reintroduced the bill in their respective chambers.

Paul claims the bill would hold agencies accountable by "cutting red tape and opening the regulatory process to scrutiny."

In fact, the bill would only serve to create more red tape for agency scientists and analysts—who are relatively insulated from outside pressure—and undermine their ability to make regulatory decisions. The fate of a wide range of rules would instead rest with politicians, who are too often beholden to special interests.

How would Paul vote on a proposed power plant air pollution standard, for example, when he gets generous financial support from oil and coal behemoth Koch Industries and coal giants Alliance Resource Partners and Murray Energy? Or how would Young, who gets significant funding from building and construction companies, vote on a rule to strengthen the Clean Water Act?

Given the extent of corporate influence and current gridlock on Capitol Hill, science-based public health and environmental protections would likely die a quick death if this bill becomes law.

Slowing the Rulemaking Process to a Crawl

Earlier this year, the House passed a bill that, according to its sponsor Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), would increase government accountability by requiring "agencies to choose the lowest cost alternatives that meet statutory objectives and improve agency transparency and fact finding."

Wonky language aside, at first blush, that sounds pretty good.

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A closer look at Goodlatte's Regulatory Accountability Act, however, reveals that it would slow an already sluggish rulemaking process to a crawl and make it easier for legislators to weaken and block public health and environmental protections. How? By imposing more than 70 new procedural requirements on federal agencies and giving polluting industries more opportunities to challenge proposed rules. It also would force agencies to adopt the cheapest option for new safety measures, even when it is less protective.

"This bill rigs the regulatory process against new public safeguards and provides industry special interests a blueprint for killing new health and safety standards in court," Amit Narang, a regulatory policy expert at Public Citizen, told The Hill. "It is a giveaway to big business by forcing agencies to adopt the so-called 'least costly' regulation, but one only has to look to Wall Street reform to understand that the least costly rules for Wall Street end up being the most costly for American taxpayers."

It's not surprising that Goodlatte would sponsor such a bill. According to the League of Conservation Voters, he voted against protecting the environment 92 percent of the time since taking office in 1993. That track record no doubt keeps his major campaign contributors happy, especially the agriculture, electric utility, and oil and gas companies that together donated more than $250,000 to him since 2011.

Turning Conflict of Interest On Its Head

In mid-March, the House passed a bill that would place limits on independent scientists advising the EPA about their own research. You read that right. At the same time, the bill—the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act—specifies that experts with financial ties to corporations that could be affected by advisory board assessments would not be excluded from participating.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK), says the bill's goal is "guaranteeing a well-balanced expert panel, increasing transparency and encouraging public participation."

Well-balanced? If passed, the bill would "likely increase the number of conflicted board panelists empowering companies to delay the board's work for years, if not decades," said UCS's Rosenberg. "Academic scientists who know the most about a subject wouldn't be able weigh in, but experts paid by corporations who want to block regulations could. This turns the idea of conflict of interest on its head, with the bizarre presumption that corporate experts with direct financial interests are not conflicted while academics who work on these issues are."

Packing the EPA's Science Advisory Board with corporate scientists would undoubtedly benefit the companies that give campaign contributions to Lucas and Sens. John Boozman (R-AR) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), who introduced the same bill in the Senate in late February.

Lucas' top two industrial sector supporters are the agriculture and oil and gas industries, which have given him $1.65 million and $569,000 respectively over his 20-year House career. Boozman, who won a Senate seat in 2010 after serving in the House for nine years, counts Koch Industries, Murray Energy and Big Ag's Cargill, Monsanto and Tyson Foods among his top campaign contributors over the last five years. Manchin, meanwhile, gets major support from coal mining companies and electric utilities. Together, they gave him more than $1.12 million since 2009, when he first ran for the Senate.

Excluding Vital Public Health Studies

The House also passed Rep. Lamar Smith's (R-TX) Secret Science Reform Act in mid-March to prohibit the EPA from implementing a regulation unless it makes public all related data, scientific analyses and materials. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) sponsored the same bill in the Senate, and in late April, a Senate committee narrowly voted to approve it and send it to the floor.

Smith claims the bill's intent is to increase transparency at the agency so that it can't use "hidden and flawed" science. In fact, the bill would severely hamper the EPA from carrying out its mission to protect public health and the environment, prompting more than 40 scientific institutions and universities to oppose it.

"The legislation may sound reasonable, but it's actually a cynical attack on the EPA's ability to do its job," Rosenberg said in a statement. "This bill would make it impossible for the EPA to use many health studies, since they often contain private patient information that can't and shouldn't be revealed."

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Likewise, the bill would prohibit the agency from using confidential business information and limit the agency to only using scientific studies with "reproducible" results. Epidemiological studies of human exposure to toxic pollutants, for example, would not be admissible.

Finally, the bill would drive up the EPA's costs at the same time some members of Congress are trying to slash its budget. The Congressional Budget Office calculates that the Secret Science Reform Act would cost the agency an extra $10,000 to $30,000 per scientific study. Given the agency relies on about 50,000 studies per year, it could saddle the agency with an annual tab of several hundred million dollars.

Considering that Smith is chairman of the House Science Committee and Barrasso is a medical doctor, why are they promoting this bill?

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that, like the sponsors of the three other anti-science bills, they have close ties to industrial polluters.

Smith's top patron during his nearly 30 years in office has been the oil and gas industry, including Koch Industries and Valero Energy, which has plied him with more than $610,000 in campaign contributions. Sure enough, Smith routinely cites the industry's talking points, questioning the role human activity plays in climate change, for instance, or that anything can be done about it.

Barrasso, who also disputes climate science, likewise counts the oil and gas industry—as well as electric utilities—among his top five industrial sector contributors. Collectively the two sectors gave him nearly $859,000 over the last five years, and his two top fossil fuel funders were Koch Industries and Murray Energy.

Do you see a pattern here?

Bill Sponsors Ignore Science-Based Safeguards' Benefits

There's a good reason why a majority of Americans support strong public health and environmental safeguards: They provide considerable benefits that far exceed their cost.

Take the Clean Air Act, which Congress initially passed in 1970 and strengthened in 1990 during the George H.W. Bush administration. The law requires the EPA to update pollution standards every five years to account for scientific advances in our understanding of the threat pollution poses to public health and how best to reduce it.

Beyond a doubt, the law has been a resounding success. An October 1997 EPA cost-benefit analysis of Clean Air Act programs from 1970 to 1990 calculated the mean estimate of their public health and environmental benefits at approximately $22 trillion. The cost of achieving the pollution reductions, at $523 billion, was a fraction of the estimated benefits. An April 2011 EPA study, meanwhile, found that in 2010 alone, the decline in fine particle pollution and ozone pollution attributed to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 prevented more than 160,000 premature deaths, 130,000 heart attacks, millions of cases of respiratory ailments and 86,000 hospital admissions. On the economic side, the study projected that the benefits from the programs established by the 1990 amendments likely would exceed their costs by a factor of more than 30 to 1 in 2020.

Regardless, the sponsors of the four anti-science bills now winding their way through Congress are making the same insidious calculation Clean Air Act opponents make. They focus on the cost of regulations and disregard their very real benefits.

"It's true that industry has to bear some of the cost of public health, safety and environmental protections, because it is largely responsible for the damage," said UCS's Rosenberg. "But the benefits of cleaner air and water and better workplace and public safety are the reasons for the laws in the first place. And they have been substantial. If anyone would like to experience what some regions of our country would be like without the Clean Air Act, visit Beijing."


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Do you feel embarrassed due to the foul odor coming from your mouth? Or your oral hygiene isn't as good as before, and you are suffering from gingivitis (inflammation of gums)?

Well, these oral problems are skyrocketing, and even young people are suffering from oral issues that result in a lack of confidence.

It's common to change your toothpaste by seeing the TV commercials that claim to free you from bad breath or sensitive teeth, but these products don't always work.

Fighting oral issues isn't that easy, even if you religiously follow what your primary school teacher has taught, to "Brush two times a day!"

Well, there is a much-hyped supplement in the market that claims to help you fight all of these oral issues: The Steel Bite Pro.

Steel Bite Pro is an oral supplement that claims to cure bad breath and other such oral issues like sensitivity and gum problems.

But does the supplement really work, or is it just like the useless toothpaste that you tried before? Let's find out in this review.

Who Should Use Steel Bite Pro?

The best part about Steel Bite Pro is that anyone can use the supplement to get rid of oral issues. The supplement contains natural ingredients such as turmeric, zinc, alfalfa, jujube seeds, and much more, so there are no chemicals at all.

No matter whether you are 20 or 60, you can use this supplement to overcome oral issues and get the confidence back that you are missing due to bad odor and sensitive teeth.

Steel Bite Pro Review: Overview of the Supplement

Steel Bite Pro is an all-natural supplement that contains a mix of natural supplements to rebuild your gums and teeth.

The supplement contains 29 different foods that help you reduce the gum pain and other dental problems you have been facing for years.

More than 55,000 people have used Steel Bite Pro till now, and the results of the supplement are pretty impressive. Furthermore, the supplement is prepared in an FDA-approved facility in the USA.

It is available in the form of pills that you can consume anytime, so using the supplement is incredibly convenient. There are numerous benefits of using the Steel Bite Pro as it solves a plethora of dental problems.

Click here to Get the Best Deal on Steel Bite Pro from the Official Website.

Pros and Cons: Steel Bite Pro

To understand the supplement better, it is essential to know about its pros and cons.


Convenient to Use

The dietary supplement is convenient to use as it comes in the form of pills. You can take the pill anytime, even when you are in your office or somewhere else. Now there is no need to use multiple kinds of toothpaste and splurge money by visiting a dentist.

All-Natural Ingredients

All the ingredients present inside the supplement are natural, and there are no chemicals that can harm your teeth or gums.


When you compare the cost of 1 bottle with the cost of a special toothpaste with the fee that your dentist charges, Steel Bite Pro will seem much more affordable. The supplement is available in multiple packages, so you will find it affordable to use.

No Side Effects at All

There are no side effects to using Steel Bite Pro, so you can rest assured that you won't face any headaches or other issues while curing the oral issues. The reason why Steel Bite Pro has no side effects is due to its natural ingredients.

Designed by Experts

The supplement is designed by experts that have been in the industry for years.

No Additional Medicines Are Required

When you are using Steel Bite Pro, you can avoid using other medicines that you have been taking to cure oral issues.

Attacks on the Pain

There are several ingredients present in Steel Bite Pro that attack tooth and gum pain so that you get some instant relief with the supplement.

Comes With a Money Back Guarantee

The supplement comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, so you can claim a full refund if you find the supplement isn't working for you, or if it isn't doing what the manufacturer has promised.


You Can Purchase It From the Official Site Only

The supplement is only available for purchase from the Official Website. Sometimes the supplement gets out of stock, so you have to wait for it to get back in stock.

A Single Bottle Costs More

If you buy a single bottle of the supplement, it'll cost you more than other packages with multiple bottles.

Ingredients in Steel Bite Pro

All the ingredients present in Steel Bite Pro are natural and have proven benefits for humans. Here is a list of supplements explained in detail and how they can benefit you if you start using Steel Bite Pro.


As per a study, there are innumerable benefits of using turmeric on your teeth. The natural herb has antimicrobial properties that help remove the plaque effectively from the teeth, exterminate bacteria and help cure sensitivity.

Moreover, turmeric is good for fighting oral inflammation issues. When applied on teeth, the ingredient gives instant relief from pain and is effective in curing mouth ulcers as well.


Berberine is a natural herb with proven antioxidant power to help you get rid of microorganisms developing inside the mouth. Furthermore, the ingredient has anti-inflammatory properties and is good for curing oral issues caused due to viruses and bacteria.


It is another natural ingredient that is used in a range of health supplements due to its healing power. The ingredient naturally heals the gums and the damage caused to the teeth by bacteria and microorganisms.

As per a study, it helps reduce the infection, oral pain, and cures other dental issues.

Milk Thistle

Your liver has a significant impact on your oral health, and that's where milk thistle works. The natural ingredient eliminates toxins from the liver and detoxifies your mouth as well.

Here is a study that proves how milk thistle is beneficial in detoxifying the liver.


The decaying of teeth is the initial phase of damage caused by bacteria thriving inside your mouth. Alfalfa works by reducing tooth sensitivity drastically and repairs the tooth decay caused by the bacteria.

It even stops the bacteria from growing further so you can expect good oral health.


A lot of natural supplements for teeth contain ginger because of its benefits on the teeth and the stomach. This ingredient present in the Steel Bite Pro reduces nausea and inflammation.

As per this study, there are umpteen other benefits of ginger as well, such as it maintains the pH inside your mouth.

Jujube Seeds

Jujube seeds are good for boosting the immunity. Also, the ingredient has excellent antioxidant properties and is rich in Vitamin C, which is beneficial for the teeth and overall oral health.


Dandelion is a natural ingredient extracted from herbs. The ingredient is rich in minerals and has immense benefits such as fighting the bacteria and preventing the infections occurring inside your mouth.


Zinc is essential for teeth, and that is why many toothpaste brands advertise that their product contains a good amount of zinc. Further, zinc is a natural immunity booster and fights against bacteria to prevent gum disease and cavities.

Moreover, zinc repairs the enamel on your teeth that's damaged due to toothpaste or any other reasons. Here is a study that shows the benefits of zinc for your teeth and mouth.

Chicory Root

Chicory root acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other ingredients. The reason why you get instant relief from pain after using Steel Bite Pro is due to the presence of chicory root in the pills.

Celery Seeds

Bacteria result in bad odor and can create cavities in the teeth. Furthermore, some bacteria result in tooth decay and harm the gums. The celery seeds fight these bacteria and prevent further growth.

Yellow Dock

To stay healthy, the teeth need to absorb the minerals present in the saliva. When your teeth are damaged for any reason, they stop absorbing the minerals, and the damage continues further.

Yellow dock helps the teeth to absorb the minerals while reducing the inflammation. Various studies have proven the efficacy of yellow dock for teeth and gums, and it is a natural and effective ingredient to keep the teeth healthy.

Raspberry, Chanca Piedra, and Artichoke

These three natural ingredients have similar properties and contribute a lot to the effectiveness of Steel Bite Pro. The ingredients have good amounts of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin K, Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate.

The purifying agents will remove bacteria and other impurities from the mouth so that the other ingredients work well by repairing the teeth and gums.


The worst thing about oral issues is the pain that you have to go through. Steel Bite Pro claims to help with the pain as it contains feverfew, which is a natural pain reliever. The ingredient suppresses oral and dental pain so you will feel better instantly.

As per a study, there are some other benefits of feverfew, because it is a medicinal plant that suppresses other pains as well. Also, there are no side effects of feverfew at all.

Burdock Root

The root of the burdock plant comes loaded with antioxidants that improve the gum health and the overall health of your mouth.

The best thing about Steel Bite Pro is that the ingredients are present in exact quantities, so you can rest assured that there will be no side effects. Every ingredient is tested in the labs for its efficiency, and that's what makes the Steel Bite Pro a considerable option if you want to improve your oral and dental health.

Click here to See the full list of ingredients in Steel Bite Pro on the official website.

How Does Steel Bite Pro Work?

It is crucial to understand how the supplement works so that you can decide whether to invest in it or not. Below is a step by step process that will help you understand Steel Bite Pro on the go.

Step 1:

When you start consuming the supplement, the pills break down in your mouth. The ingredients then mix with saliva to perform their particular actions.

Step 2:

The ingredients fight the bacteria and heal issues such as wounds while reducing the inflammation caused in the mouth.

Step 3:

The supplement cements the root of the teeth so that there are no further oral and dental issues. Also, it heals the gums and repairs the enamel to provide you relief from sensitivity.

The minerals present in these ingredients strengthen the crown area of the teeth while repairing the cracks so that the damage can be stopped.

Step 4:

The supplement also has some impact on your overall health as the ingredients detoxify the liver by flushing away the toxins.

Step 5:

Consuming the supplement regularly will help you maintain the shield on the teeth that fights against bacteria and microorganisms. Also, it improves the condition of the teeth and curtails bad breath.

The working of Steel Bite Pro is really simple, as there are no complex ingredients present in the supplement. It is easy to use, and all you have to do is consume the pill regularly to keep your oral and dental health up to the mark.

Benefits of Steel Bite Pro

There are many benefits of using Steel Bite Pro since it is an all-natural supplement that has no side effects at all. Here are some benefits you need to consider before buying it.

Prevents Bleeding and Improves Gum Health

The reason why your teeth bleed is due to the loose gums. The space between the tooth and the gum results in bleeding, and that's where Steel Bite Pro helps. The supplement tightens the gums so that there is no bleeding at all.

Whitens the Teeth Naturally

The ingredients present in the supplement, such as zinc and milk thistle, whiten the teeth naturally. There is no need to invest in expensive teeth whitening toothpaste if you are using Steel Bite Pro.

Reduces Bad Breath

The supplement contains ingredients that improve the overall health of the teeth, and it automatically reduces bad breath.

Helps Cure Tooth Pain

Steel Bite Pro has feverfew, which is a natural pain reliever ingredient. The ingredient cures tooth and gum pain and can have instant results after you consume Steel Bite Pro.

Click here to Learn more about the Benefits of Steel Bite Pro on the official website.

Side Effects of Using Steel Bite Pro

You may find it surprising, but Steel Bite Pro has no side effects at all as the supplement contains natural ingredients and has exact quantities so that there are no ill effects on your health. If you keep using the supplement as prescribed, then it can have some excellent results.

Who Should Refrain from Steel Bite Pro?

Steel Bite Pro is an all-natural dietary supplement to improve your dental and oral health.

Anyone can use the supplement, including pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. There are no harms of using the supplement.

However, it would be great to consult a doctor before using the supplement to find out if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.

Dosage and Tips to Start

To get the most from Steel Bite Pro, you should consume two pills with water every day. Take both capsules together anytime that's convenient for you.

To get the best results, follow a brushing regime, and massage your teeth regularly with some good-quality oil to increase the effectiveness of the pills.

Where to Buy Steel Bite Pro, and Guarantees?

You can only buy Steel Bite Pro from the Official Site, as the supplement is not available anywhere else for purchase. You can choose from three available options:

●1 bottle (60 pills) $69

●Three bottles (180 pills) $117

●Six bottles (360 pills) $294 (Best Deal)

You get a 60-day money back guarantee with all the packages, no matter if you go for one bottle or six bottles. You are eligible to claim the full refund within 60 days of the date of purchase.

Steel Bite Pro Reviews: Closing Thoughts

After this definitive review, it will be easier for you to find out whether you should use Steel Bite Pro or not. The supplement contains a mix of 29 natural ingredients that have proven benefits and are tested in labs.

It is essential to get rid of oral and dental issues before things get out of control and you have no option left despite visiting a dentist.

Getting a good quality supplement is essential, so Steel Bite Pro is a viable option if you need a supplement with no side effects.

Anyone can use this supplement irrespective of age, sex, and medical conditions. Lastly, buy the supplement only from the official site so that you can easily claim the refund if required.

Click here to Get the best deal on Steel Bite Pro from the official website.

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Along the Atlantic coast, ghost forests provide haunting signs of sea-level rise. These stands of bleached and broken tree trunks are all that remain after salty water inundates a forest.

Matt Kirwan is with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He says ghost forests are not a new phenomenon, but they're moving inland faster as seas rise.

"Eventually they'll fall apart and become stumps surrounded by marshland," he says. "And so when you see a ghost forest now, you're seeing where the marsh will be in the future."

Marshes are valuable ecosystems, so in some ways, that's positive.

"Ghost forests are a surprising indicator of ecological resilience in coastal systems," Kirwan says. "They mark how marshes naturally migrate in response to sea-level rise."

But that migration comes at a cost.

"Places that people have lived for hundreds of years are becoming too wet and too salty to grow crops on, in some cases," Kirwan says. "And of course, the forest resources are being lost. And in some cases, people are forced to move from their homes as the land becomes too flooded."

So ghost forests have become eerie symbols of rapid change.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

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