The other night when Andy was waiting for the weather report on TV, he called, “Jean! Look at this.” It was a paid piece extolling the virtues of Tom Udall, our senior U.S. Senator. What? A political ad so soon? The election isn’t until next year.
Even more surprising, the American Chemistry Council was paying for the ad. Why would an industry group be promoting a known environmentalist? That certainly shakes up some of my assumptions. Don’t most industry groups fight against regulations?
The ad emphasized how much Tom is doing for New Mexico, especially in growing the economy and creating jobs. It asked us to contact Tom and let him know what a difference he was making for New Mexico. It certainly got my attention. I’ve never seen anything like it before.
So I poked around a bit. It turns out Tom is one of the 25 co-sponsors of a bipartisan bill to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. Things have changed a lot in the past 37 years. The argument is the rules need to be changed if they’re going to protect human health and the environment without stifling innovation — innovation needed to produce new jobs. So some Republicans and Democrats, and some environmentalists and industry groups, are trying to come up with a sensible plan. Is it possible our whole political system isn’t broken? What do you think? Have you ever seen anything like this?