The Trump administration’s friendly dealings with the fossil fuel industry usually take center stage, but its chummy relationship with the chemical industry is currently under the spotlight. As acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt sat through his confirmation hearings in the Senate this week, the New York Times reported that in late 2017, as deputy secretary of the Interior, Bernhardt helped block the release of a study from scientists at the Fish and Wildlife Service. The research found that three pesticides—chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion—threaten the survival of close to 1,400 endangered species.
I think we can safely assume that the objections held by Bernhardt, who appears to have no background in science, have very little to do with the researchers’ methodology. Of far more influence, presumably, was the heavy industry lobbying against the report and the possibility of tighter restrictions on their products.
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