House Subpoenas Personal Medical Information in Continued Assault on Clean Air Policies

On Aug. 2, the House Science Committee issued a subpoena demanding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) release all underlying data and personal medical information from two crucial studies the agency has relied on in setting air quality standards since 1997.

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New Gluten-Free Standards Highlight Triumphs and Challenges at the FDA

Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released final standards that manufacturers must meet before labeling their food products “gluten free.” According to the new rules, a food product must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten before a producer can label and advertise the product as being without gluten.

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New Study Shows Workers at Fracking Sites Exposed to Unsafe Levels of Silica Dust

A new study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that workers at 11 hydraulic fracturing sites in five states were exposed to high levels of crystalline silica dust.

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House Votes to Ban EPA from Considering Benefits of Climate, Energy Rules

Yesterday, the House passed a bill, the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013, that would allow the Department of Energy to veto any U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that cost over $1 billion to implement, weakening the EPA’s ability to perform its statutorily required duties and violating the spirit and intention of the Clean Air Act.

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Senate Subcommittee Hearing to Examine Costs of Regulatory Delay

Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights, and Agency Action will hold its first hearing on regulatory policy. The hearing, titled "Justice Delayed: The Human Cost of Regulatory Paralysis," will examine the important benefits of public protections and the very real costs of regulatory delay.

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Halliburton Destroys Evidence Related to Gulf Oil Spill, Pleads Guilty

On July 25, energy services giant Halliburton agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence related to the investigation of the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. The company will pay a fine of $200,000, will be on probation for the next three years, and will make a voluntary contribution of $55 million to a wildlife conservation charity. Halliburton will also continue to cooperate in the U.S. Department of Justice's ongoing criminal investigation into the rig explosion and oil spill that killed 11 workers, polluted vast swaths of the U.S. Gulf Coast, and killed and injured untold numbers of sea birds and marine mammals.

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Success of EPA Climate Standards Will Depend on White House Support

Back in June, President Obama announced a bold plan to address climate change. Now that Gina McCarthy has finally been confirmed as the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), advocates are counting on the agency to move quickly on the president's promises.

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Five Fundamental Facts about Standards and Public Protections

Judd Gregg, a former Republican senator from New Hampshire and current CEO of the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), recently wrote an opinion piece for The Hill attacking new environmental and public health standards and financial protections.

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Chemical "Harmonization" Through Trade Agreement Could Trigger a Global Food Catastrophe

As we reported in yesterday's edition of Government Matters, diplomats from Europe and the United States have started talks on the corporate-backed trade treaty known as the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA). Though draft texts of the agreement are being kept secret from Americans and Europeans, the 2013 Technical Barriers to Trade report by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative indicates that the "harmonization" of chemical regulations to a lowest-common-denominator standard is likely to be a goal of the treaty.

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Shelanski Lays Out Top Priorities if Confirmed as Next OIRA Administrator

At his Senate confirmation hearing this morning, Howard Shelanski, nominated to serve as the next administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), laid out his top priorities for the office.  Among them are addressing long-standing delays of crucial standards and safeguards and the lack of transparency in OIRA's rule review process. 

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