This year Congress has stepped up its pace on the 36-year crawl towards assuring the safety of 80,000 chemicals to which infants, children, adults, food, air and water sources are regularly exposed, with most unstudied, and many causing health problems. And guess who has emerged as the self nominated new BFF of chemical safety? Why, behold, it’s the American Chemistry Council!

Surprise! Our new pal is as concerned as we are about safety in chemicals, and even in oil and gas drilling. Well, maybe not as concerned. But concerned.

The ACC wants to assure us “that information and dialogue have the power to create change: in our industry, in our communities, and in our world. Our member companies are investing in the future through community outreach projects.”

Dialogue and change are important? So glad you feel that way. Want to talk? Music to our ears.

So let’s talk whether or not our new BFF is on the same page with us.

According to the 11 million people in the Safer Chemicals Coalition, we need “Public safety information for all chemicals, and prompt action to phase out the most dangerous chemicals.”

Our BFF wants to delay action while only studying a handful chemicals already proven dangerous, rather than all 80,000 others.

Gosh, do we have less in common than we thought?

Well, let’s see where we all stand on options for chemical safety testing:

Should we test the exposures as we actually experience them in real life?

Should we study one chemical at a time with no reference to actual exposure levels and combinations as they show up in people? The ACC wants it that way. Too bad no one lives in a lab.

Can we still save our friendship? Let’s see.

Next, we’re concerned that BPA is a reproductive health risk. We want to protect our kids.

When California proposed its new BPA ban, did our new BFF support it? No, they spent $5 million trying to defeat the new BPA ban.

Hey BFF, Is this what you mean by “community outreach?” What a pal!

“For the last year the chemical industry has expressed support for reform and taken bows for being forward thinking,” said Andy Igrejas, the director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. “Yet they have relentlessly attacked reform efforts in Congress. We hope to expose that contradiction and urge Congress to get tough on toxic chemicals now.”

Now it turns out that the ACC wants us to meet its BFF– the gas and oil industry. Their poor friend is not very popular at the moment. They can’t think why.

Since this is our new BFF’s BFF, let’s listen when the ACC stands up for its buddy. “With proper oversight, the (oil and gas) industry should be given the opportunity to continue doing its important job,” says the ACC President in a recent post in the Hill’s Congress blog. “With the chemical industry already facing high costs for energy, intense foreign competition, and razor-thin margins, we need domestic, competitively-priced oil and gas more than ever.”

Talk about close friends! What a bond. Let’s all hold hands.

Wait a minute. “Competitively priced.” Haven’t I heard that before? Doesn’t that mean something like despite billions in profits, we can’t afford safety?

Where does our new BFF’s BFF really stand?

Well since the Gulf disaster, which neither the oil industry nor government can remediate, do our new friends want to go back and do their homework on adequate safety measures? Not exactly. They oppose any ban on drilling to do that.

Well, let’s take the practice of hydraulic fracturing gas drilling, which injects into the earth billions of gallons of water mixed with 595 toxic chemicals. Hey, chemicals. No wonder the ACC is a stand-up buddy for oil and gas drillers.

Natural Gas, called NG by its pals, is hot, new, and trendy, and insists it’s oh-so safe and green, despite explosions, spills, groundwater contamination, and air pollution. Since our quote unquote natural new pal was exempted by Dick Cheney from the Clean Water Drinking Act, did NG volunteer to adhere to it? No.

Did NG volunteer to make chemical information available? No.
Will NG hold back from forcing its friendship on New York until environmental studies and good regulation can assure safety practices to protect New York City’s unfiltered water supply? No.

Hate to spoil this new friendship, but… With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Watch this clip that shows what your wannabe BFF says behind your back:

It looks like NG’s fave shade of green is military drab, as in march in and take over. Hopefully, in upcoming elections, Americans will be less naive about “friendly” legislators tempted by deep pocket offers and economic promises from our former BFF’s and their clique.

Do you know who your real friends are? What kind of friend are you? Do you stand up to be counted with friends who stand up for you? Or are you too busy with your own stuff?

Hope you don’t mind this gentle reminder. Cause isn’t that what friendship’s all about?

Ask your Congressman to support strong provisions in the New Safe Chemicals bill in Congress right now.

Just in from Josh Fox, director of Gasland, Yesterday the Delaware River Basin Commission, which has the duty of protecting water used in PA, NJ, and NY, granted permits for frackers to take public river water, and dig wells in the river basin basin area. WRITE THEM NOW to object. clarke.rupert@drbc.state.nj.us and carol.collier@drbc.state.nj.us and pamela.bush@drbc.state.nj.us

Protect Gulf clean up workers from toxic chemicals.

Save Gulf wildlife

Demand safety before drilling to protect New York’;s water supply.

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