Supreme Court Rules Against EPA in Wetlands Enforcement Case

The U.S. Supreme Court last Wednesday ruled against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a decision that will affect clean water enforcement throughout the country and could impact a range of agency enforcement programs. The Supreme Court held that parties can challenge what are known as administrative compliance orders issued under the Clean Water Act (CWA). These are orders the agency issues to ensure environmental standards are complied with before enforcement actions are initiated in court. The Court’s decision could deter EPA from issuing voluntary compliance orders under the CWA because of the potential increase in legal challenges.

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OMB Watch Joins Lawsuit Seeking Disclosure of Chemicals Used in Natural Gas Extraction in Wyoming

On March 26, OMB Watch, along with the Powder River Basin Resource Council, Wyoming Outdoor Council, and Earthworks, filed a petition requesting that the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) disclose information about chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. The case, now before Wyoming's Seventh District Court, could set the tone for future cases in the more than 10 states with chemical disclosure rules similar to Wyoming's.

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Paul Ryan's Revenue Reforms Slash Taxes on the Rich

Yesterday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his latest budget proposal, called "The Path to Prosperity," which serves as an update to his plan from last year. The proposal, which is the draft of the fiscal year (FY) 2013 House budget resolution, is supposed to be a fiscal framework for the House for the coming year. However, the congressman's tax plan is not a serious proposal for change.

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A Look at Transparency in the 21st Century

This afternoon, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's technology subcommittee will host a hearing on using technology to improve transparency under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The hearing will also be an opportunity to examine the Obama administration's performance on implementing FOIA.

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House Marks Up Absurd Public Protections Moratorium Bill

Later this morning, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a mark-up on the so-called "Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act of 2012" (H.R. 4078), a farce of a bill that wrongly calls for a moratorium on public protections until the unemployment rate reaches six percent. This is the latest in a series of more than 190 attacks on regulatory safeguards in the House since the beginning of 2011.

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Ethics.gov Launched

Yesterday, the White House launched Ethics.gov, the administration’s long promised effort to provide a one-stop shop for information on lobbyists, campaign contributions, travel, visitors, and other possible conflicts of interest issues for public officials.

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Transportation Bill Amendments Would Impact Americans' Health, Environment

T­­oday, the Sena­­te will move forward with votes on transportation legislation that could affect Americans' health and the environment. Several amendments to the bill target two issues – the Keystone XL pipeline and the EPA 's lifesaving boiler rule, which limits hazardous air pollution from boilers and process heaters at industrial facilities.

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