Quantcast

Report: 140 House Members Vote Against Chemical Safeguards Every Time

L: Michael Coghlan / Flickr R: Coloured chest X-ray of a male patient showing evidence of a mesothelioma lung cancer, which is usually associated with exposure to asbestos. Zephyr / Science Photo Library / Getty Images

The Environmental Working Group Action Fund, the political arm of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), released a first-ever report that scores how each member of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on chemical policy and safety.

The scorecard shows that 140 House members voted against chemical safeguards every time, while 149 members consistently voted for chemical safety protections.


"While no president has ever done as much to weaken safeguards for toxic chemicals as Donald Trump, too many members of Congress have collaborated with the Trump administration or cast votes in favor of policies that reversed or delayed chemical bans, gutted chemical safety rules, rejected sound science, weakened worker and consumer protections, and denied justice to asbestos victims," the report said.

The report specifically focused on 17 bills and amendments that were up for a vote during the 115th and 114th Congresses.

The EWG Action Fund also singled out several lawmakers, including Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.), Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) and Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), who the action fund says introduced or co-sponsored measures that weaken existing chemical safety laws.

"Over and over, too many legislators voted to support President Trump's agenda to eliminate toxic chemical safeguards," said Scott Faber, speaking on behalf of EWG Action Fund, in a statement received by EcoWatch.

"Too many members of Congress have collaborated with the Trump administration to advance policies that reject sound science and weaken worker and consumer protections," Faber added. "And many more stood by silently when Trump's EPA reversed or delayed chemical bans or gutted chemical safety rules."

Most Republican members of Congress were graded poorly in the report. However, the action fund praised the lawmakers that bucked their party to vote for chemical safety, including Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and others who voted to protect asbestos victims.

The action fund also noted that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) voted for funding chemical reviews and against a farm bill that included pesticide safety loopholes. Florida Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen voted against efforts to weaken agency science, and Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis voted against toxic air pollution loopholes.

Sponsored
On thin ice. Christopher Michel / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Russian military is taking measures to protect the residents of a remote Arctic settlement from a mass of polar bears, German press agency DPA reported.

The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.

Read More Show Less

This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.

"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Over the past few years, it seems vegan cooking has gone from 'brown rice and tofu' to a true art form. These amazing cooks show off the creations on Instagram—and we can't get enough.

Read More Show Less
The USS Ashland, followed by the USS Green Bay, in the Philippine Sea on Jan. 21. U.S. Department of Defense

By Shana Udvardy

After a dearth of action on climate change and a record year of extreme events in 2017, the inclusion of climate change policies within the annual legislation Congress considers to outline its defense spending priorities (the National Defense Authorization Act) for fiscal year 2018 was welcome progress. House and Senate leaders pushed to include language that mandated that the Department of Defense (DoD) incorporate climate change in their facility planning (see more on what this section of the bill does here and here) as well as issue a report on the impacts of climate change on military installations. Unfortunately, what DoD produced fell far short of what was mandated.

Read More Show Less
The Paradise Fossil Plant in western Kentucky. CC BY 3.0

Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.

Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.

Read More Show Less