Chemical Interdependency

Assemblyman Cameron Smythe, a Santa Clarita Republican, was speaking to a group of chemical industry executives Thursday morning and joked that it wasn’t until he became vice-chair of the lower house’s Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials committee that he learned how truly dangerous the world is. 

Smythe said that sometimes the actions of the committee’s majority can be baffling and that the “science” used to justify some pieces of legislation isn’t always reliable. 

One week the committee considered a measure to ban a certain chemical. 

If this particular chemical got deep-sixed, Smythe asked, what chemical would be used in its place? 

The author of the bill replied with authority that another less harmful chemical was a perfect substitution. Measure approved. 

At the committee’s next hearing, a lawmaker presented a bill to ban the less harmful chemical that was the perfect substitute for the real yucky one the committee banned at its previous hearing. 

Smythe pointed that out to both the bill’s author and the other members of the committee. The author didn’t feel Smythe’s point was germane. The bill was about banning this chemical, which the author asserted was truly awful, not about whether it was a worthy substitute for another. 

Measure approved. 


1 Comment »

  1. As long as we don’t ban the good chemicals!

    Comment by NoOneInParticular — 5.16.2008 @ 7:24 am

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