5 of the Most Outrageous Environmental Policy Requests by Industry Insiders

Written by Keith Gaby, Senior Communications Director at Environmental Defense Fund.

The Trump administration has already cancelled or sought to undermine 23 rules that protect our health and environment – including limits on toxic waste coal companies dump in rivers, and regulations promoting more fuel-efficient cars.

But the administration is hungry for more, so it’s asked companies, trade associations and lobbyists to suggest other rules they’d like the president to roll back.

Part of this wish-list process is being done in public and some, of course, is happening in private meetings. Rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has a whole “wish list” docket of its own, seem to be a particular target.

Here are five of the most brazen industry wishes submitted so far:

1. Coal tar: Trade association wants to end health studies

The Pavement Coatings and Technology Council – a trade association for the paving industry – doesn’t want research into the health dangers of the black top on which your children play foursquare.

It also doesn’t want the government to study the impact of coal tar on “freshwater sediment contamination, indoor air quality, ambient air quality, and effects on aquatic species.”

2. Leaky oil and gas drill sites: Trade groups don’t want to fix them

Trade associations representing the oil and gas industry, including The Independent Petroleum Association of America, have filed comments attacking Clean Air Act standards requiring energy producers to take cost-effective steps to reduce methane and other air pollution.

3. Roofing fumes: Companies want no restrictions

The National Roofing Contractors Association, a trade group representing roofing companies, doesn’t want smog-forming chemicals restricted, saying such regulations “have been burdensome to our members.”

4. Cancer-causing lubricants: Manufacturers say they should still be used

No, not that kind of lubricant. The Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association complained that the newly established chemical safety law may require its members to find replacement products for materials known to cause cancer in humans.

5. Toxic pesticide: Chemical manufacturer wants ban removed

Don’t try to pronounce chlorpyrifos, just know this pesticide hurts kids’ health. That’s what the EPA had concluded last year, and proposed banning it after years of research showing that it causes developmental problems in children and that there are alternatives.

That is, until Pruitt came along, and under pressure from the manufacturer, ignored his own scientists and rejected the proposed ban, saying it needs more study.

Why this wish list should be taken seriously

The Trump administration seems to view all health and environmental safeguards as potentially suspicious. That’s in spite of strong data showing that environmental rules actually help the economy – by preventing illness, missed school days, worker absence, productivity problems and early death.

President Trump, who encountered these safeguards as impediments to building hotels faster and cheaper, promised to rid the government of 75 percent of rules that get in industry’s way.

With an EPA administrator more eager to please his boss than to protect Americans’ health, it’s now our job to fight back and protect our kids.

This post originally appeared on the EDF Voices blog and is reprinted with permission.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Telica R
Telica R3 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Melania P
Melania P6 months ago

Horrible and/or ignorant people

Sarah H
Sarah Hill6 months ago

Just because something is on your "wish list" doesn't mean you're going to get them, ask my grandson.

David Anderson
David Anderson7 months ago

I know the study casting aspersion on coal tar to have been seriously flawed in multiple ways. Based on that, while I certainly don't want things around which are in fact dangerous, on the other hand I am not automatically going to jump any time someone points and yells "dangerous!".

Margie F
Margie F7 months ago

And they expect to get away with it?

Julie D
Julie D9 months ago

Horrifying and unacceptable!

william Miller
william Miller9 months ago


Carl R
Carl R9 months ago


ERIKA S9 months ago