The Associated Press reported yesterday that Dow Chemical is pushing the Trump administration to set aside results from a series of EPA studies which suggest that a family of pesticides is harmful to roughly 1,800 threatened or endangered species.

This isn’t a huge surprise; with every change of administration come requests from corporations and interest groups aimed at seeking soft spots in a new president’s regularly agenda.

What is a surprise, though, is the extent to which this administration has been willing to proceed with regulatory relief for companies in the face of what appear to be flagrant conflicts of interest.

In the case of the request from Dow, for example, there is an EPA Administrator who is both hostile toward Obama-era regulations and willing to do the president’s bidding without raising questions or objections. And, you have a cozy relationship between a CEO and president where it’s easy to imagine a quid pro quo arrangement where donations to the latter are made in exchange for favors to the former. 

Even if this isn’t a case of pay-to-play, the optics are horrible.  But then again, we have a “man” in the White House who trivializes the norms of being president, especially when his own personal interests are at stake. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. Indeed, it should never be this way.

Its Friday the 21st of April, 2017. It’s not a normal day.

Follow me on Twitter at @DecisionLab.