For the last several weeks, Gov. Paul LePage of Maine and many members of the state legislature have been working to remove all sorts of environmental protections from the state’s books. Yet, a report in the Sun Journal of Maine reveals what is usually true in politics these days, that there is a money trail behind these policy platforms.

Steve Mistler of the Sun Journal pointed out that "two manufacturers, Albemarle and Chemtura, formed the Sound Science for Maine political action committee during the 2010 election, spreading money to candidates in both parties. Its largest contribution went to the Maine Senate Republican Majority, the Senate leadership PAC.” This is a convenient fact, considering one Maine Republican, state Sen. Lois Snowe-Mello, has been under fire for several bills that have been described as over-the-top.

The most over-the-top item is a bill aimed at weakening the scheduled phase out of the toxic flame retardant DECA. DECA — a chemical found in televisions, electronics and other household items — is infamous for releasing neurological toxins that can be transmitted to humans from both dust and breast milk.

Not surprisingly, when Snowe-Mello was asked who came up with the idea for her bill she said, “Probably one of the chemical companies.” I’m thinking the Albmarle and Chemtura-backed political action committee may have had something to do with the bill.

But let’s give Snowe-Mello some credit. She was completely straightforward when asked the question. That’s something you only find at state-level politics these days.

Show me the money behind new policies in Maine
Did a political action committee formed by two manufacturers influence a bill that would weaken the phase-out the toxic flame retardant DECA?