Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Lead Senior Scientist.
[This post is adapted from comments I gave at a recent Friday Forum hosted by the American Bar Association’s Pesticides, Chemical Regulation and Right-to-Know Committee.]
Elections change some things and don’t change others. That is certainly true about what happened on Nov 4.
The best election recap I’ve heard came from a hairdresser I overhead when getting my hair cut last week. She said: “Democrats win, I have to work; Republicans win, I have to work.”
I doubt anyone would try to argue that the election was in any way about or directly relevant to the TSCA reform debate, or even any sort of more general referendum on the environment. My view is that it wasn’t really even much about political parties and which one controls the Senate – it was more of a “throw the bums out and let some new ones have a try” election.
On the other hand, it was about broad and deep dissatisfaction of voters with the inability of Washington to get anything meaningful done. That is relevant to the opportunity the TSCA reform issue presents to the new Congress, which is one of a handful of issues that seems to have the potential to show voters that something can get done.
There is also no question that the dynamics that have determined for some time the pace and direction of the TSCA reform debate changed significantly with the switch to Republican control of the Senate. That brings with it new political opportunities and challenges.
But what I want to talk mostly about is what HASN’T changed. Read More