On My Mind: Behind Closed Doors

Article From: Products Finishing, , from Gardner Business Media

Posted on: 10/1/2001

Recently I watched the movie 13 Days, which chronicles the behind-the-scenes discussions of the Kennedy administration during the Cuban missile crisis.

Recently I watched the movie 13 Days, which chronicles the behind-the-scenes discussions of the Kennedy administration during the Cuban missile crisis. While the movie may or may not be historically accurate, it caused me to think about the discussions that influenced our country's actions and the motives of everyone involved. What really happened? Was everyone working together?

The movie also caused me to reconsider two press releases I received from EPA during the summer. While the content of the releases was interesting, I was just as intrigued by what might have been said and thought during the closed door discussions that led to these announcements.

The first release, which I received in June, discussed the rationale for joining SGP. While it contained the usual altruistic, economic and regulatory benefits, the overriding tone was one of fear. What should platers fear? MP&M of course.

SGP, which was once promoted as a way to foster a non-adversarial relationship between industry and EPA, is now being promoted as a tool to fight MP&M. According to the release, SGP, an arm of EPA, is one of the key weapons for industry to fight MP&M, a proposed rule of EPA.

So, does EPA want to truly work with the finishing industry or regulate a significant portion of it to the point of extinction? What is EPA's goal? Why is EPA using MP&M to coerce finishers into joining SGP?

The second release, which I received in August, was also about SGP. This time EPA was highlighting SGP's first corporate sponsor-Raytheon. As a corporate sponsor, Raytheon will disseminate information on its environmental successes, mentor small facilities regarding SGP and provide expertise for seminars and other teaching opportunities. Essentially, Raytheon is helping EPA recruit SGP members.

Besides being perceived as a "green" company, what is Raytheon getting from the sponsorship? Is Raytheon's heavy workload for the government a factor in this relationship? Why does EPA want corporate sponsors?

Knowing just a little of what's been said behind closed doors would certainly give the finishing industry an idea of how to react to this information. But, like the movie 13 Days, we can speculate on what was said, but we'll never really know.

 



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