What's in your .bashrc and .bash_profile or .profile (or whatever your default shell reads from). What's curious is that assuming you ran /bin/bash manually like that it should inherit your environment variables from the interactive shell (while a direct invocation via subprocess.call would result in just executing the !login variants).
> When bash is invoked as an interactive login shell, or as a non-inter-
active shell with the --login option, it first reads and executes com-
mands from the file /etc/profile, if that file exists. After reading
that file, it looks for ~/.bash_profile, ~/.bash_login, and ~/.profile,
in that order, and reads and executes commands from the first one that
exists and is readable. The --noprofile option may be used when the
shell is started to inhibit this behavior.
When an interactive login shell exits, or a non-interactive login shell
executes the exit builtin command, bash reads and executes commands
from the file ~/.bash_logout, if it exists.
When an interactive shell that is not a login shell is started, bash
reads and executes commands from ~/.bashrc, if that file exists. This
may be inhibited by using the --norc option. The --rcfile file option
will force bash to read and execute commands from file instead of
When bash is started non-interactively, to run a shell script, for
example, it looks for the variable BASH_ENV in the environment, expands
its value if it appears there, and uses the expanded value as the name
of a file to read and execute. Bash behaves as if the following com-
mand were executed:
if [ -n "$BASH_ENV" ]; then . "$BASH_ENV"; fi
but the value of the PATH variable is not used to search for the file-
If bash is invoked with the name sh, it tries to mimic the startup
behavior of historical versions of sh as closely as possible, while
conforming to the POSIX standard as well. When invoked as an interac-
tive login shell, or a non-interactive shell with the --login option,
it first attempts to read and execute commands from /etc/profile and
~/.profile, in that order. The --noprofile option may be used to
inhibit this behavior. When invoked as an interactive shell with the
name sh, bash looks for the variable ENV, expands its value if it is
defined, and uses the expanded value as the name of a file to read and
execute. Since a shell invoked as sh does not attempt to read and exe-
cute commands from any other startup files, the --rcfile option has no
effect. A non-interactive shell invoked with the name sh does not
attempt to read any other startup files. When invoked as sh, bash
enters posix mode after the startup files are read.
When bash is started in posix mode, as with the --posix command line
option, it follows the POSIX standard for startup files. In this mode,
interactive shells expand the ENV variable and commands are read and
executed from the file whose name is the expanded value. No other
startup files are read.