The "License to Kill" Bill Is As Terrifying As It Sounds
The Regulatory Accountability Act, dubbed the "License to Kill bill" by some environmental groups, may kick off that trend by making reigning in the industry much more difficult.
These rules, enforced by federal agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, can take many years to get approved.
Although the chemical is banned from most products, there’s no federal ban.
(In 1989, the EPA issued a final rule banning asbestos, but that rule was overturned two years later by a court of appeals.)
During his Senate confirmation hearing last January, EPA chief Scott Pruitt dodged the question of whether he’d be for an asbestos ban.
And if the Regulatory Accountability Act becomes law, the chances of the EPA banning asbestos would be significantly more difficult, according to Richard Denison, lead senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund.
Denison says the RAA would require the EPA to prove that its decision to ban it is the most "cost effective" option and that the benefits able to be quantified from banning it would outweigh the costs of doing so.
The bill would also allow anyone to question the agency’s decision, moving the rule to a hearing and requiring testimonies before an administrative law judge.
The Environmental Working Group determined that 35 percent of the donors to Heitkamp’s campaign also supported or lobbied in favor of the act.
Scott Faber, vice president of policy at the Environmental Working Group, said if the Regulatory Accountability Act passes, its effects would be felt long after the President has left office.