Gasping for Support: Implementation of Tougher Air Quality Standards Will Require New Funds for State Agencies

New scientific research shows that the current levels of air pollution that we believed to be safe can actually cause serious damage to our health. This new information underscores the urgency for tougher clean air standards and more resources for clean air programs.

read in full

Chemical Hazards in Your Backyard

Local communities in many areas of the country seem unaware and unprepared to deal with chemical emergencies. As the number of chemical facilities increases and population centers expand, as plants age and inspection funds decline, the number of individual Americans at risk from toxic emissions, leaks, and explosions will grow. This report examines the chemical reporting to states that occurs under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA), using a sample of six states, and the reporting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that was established under the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments and the federal Risk Management Program. It then looks at how well each one helps communities prevent and prepare for disasters.

read in full

Burning Our Bridges: Cutting Offshore Tax Rates Won't Fund Our Infrastructure or Create Jobs

This report identifies the 26 U.S. corporations with the largest stockpiles of untaxed overseas profits and analyzes how much they could help meet U.S. infrastructure needs if these firms paid the taxes they owe on their offshore profits (but can legally put off paying).

read in full

Reducing Our Exposure to Toxic Chemicals: Stronger State Health Protections at Risk

In 1976, the United States enacted the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address public concerns about the impact of a growing number of untested chemicals on human health. For almost 40 years, this federal law has been the lynchpin of our nation’s chemical safety policy, and it has failed to protect the American people from being exposed to thousands of chemicals in commercial use that are known to cause harm to humans. This report looks at the starkly different Senate bills that attempt to fix these problems.

read in full

Making the Grade: Access to Information Scorecard 2015

We conducted our second annual analysis of the performance of the 15 federal agencies that consistently receive the most Freedom of Information Act requests. Most agencies have improved, but scores are once again low overall.

read in full

Gaming the Rules: How Big Business Hijacks the Small Business Review Process to Weaken Public Protections

Small businesses are heroic and iconic figures in the American story of opportunity. The vast majority of private enterprises in the U.S. today employ fewer than 100 workers, and many workers aspire to own their own business. So when small businesses argued that the federal rulemaking process should pay attention to their special needs, policymakers listened. By law, three federal agencies – the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – are required to convene a small business review panel any time they plan to issue a rule that could have a significant economic impact on small businesses. To determine who was serving on these panels and whether they were, in fact, representing and protecting the interests of small businesses, staff at the Center for Effective Government examined 20 Small Business Advocacy Review panels convened between 1998 and 2012.

read in full

Fleecing Uncle Sam

Seven of America's 30 largest corporations paid their CEOs more last year than they paid in federal income taxes.

read in full

Kids in Danger Zones

One in every three schoolchildren in America today attends a school within the vulnerability zone of a hazardous chemical facility. We value our children and do everything we can to keep them safe. Yet, one area that has proved surprisingly resistant to effective oversight is toxic chemicals.

read in full

The Benefits of Public Protections: Ten Rules That Save Lives and Protect the Environment

This report examines the public health, worker safety, and environmental benefits projected from ten proposed or final rules issued between 2009 and 2014 by five federal agencies (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service). These rules range from reducing toxic air pollutants from power plants and other large industrial sources, to reducing workers’ exposure to disease-causing silica, and to making vehicles safer.

read in full

The Bridge to Prosperity: Reverse Reckless Cuts, Restore Our Infrastructure, and Revive Jobs

The United States is facing a growing infrastructure crisis and a lingering jobs crisis. Most of America’s infrastructure was built in the decades directly after World War II. Each day in America, more than 700 water mains break. Seventeen percent of water pumped by municipal pumping stations never reaches consumers’ faucets – a waste of 2.4 trillion gallons of precious water each year. Potholes on the nation’s roads cost the average family $355 in additional car repairs annually, deficient roads and bridges will cost businesses an estimated $43 billion a year in transportation delays and shipment rerouting, and too many children attend schools with leaky roofs, rattling windows, and decrepit plumbing.

read in full