Tougher Ozone Pollution Standard, More Public Resources Needed to Help Americans Breathe Easier

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2015—Dirty air is unhealthy for everyone, but one type of air pollution – ozone – is especially dangerous to children, the elderly, those with diseases like asthma and heart conditions, and people living in poverty. In conjunction with Asthma Awareness Month, a new report and interactive map from the Center for Effective Government show how a tougher ozone standard and more public resources would create cleaner air for more than 206 million people in 46 states across the country.

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Downward Trend Continues in Enforcement of Environmental Standards

Don’t be surprised if you missed hearing about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual report on its compliance and enforcement efforts for fiscal year (FY) 2014. The report, released the week before Christmas with little public or media attention, highlights what has become a disturbing downward trend over the past several years. Reductions in enforcement can mean less compliance with pollution control requirements and more exposure to toxic chemicals, putting human health and natural resources at risk.

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Beef Industry Groups Meet to Discuss Sustainability but Leave with a Marketing Plan

A coalition of beef producers and major food companies met last month in Brazil to address an issue of increasing importance: the significant, harmful environmental impact of raising beef cattle in a world with a growing population and declining resources.

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Congress Slashes EPA Budget Again Despite Strong Public Support for Strengthening Health Protections

In a continuing effort to dismantle the ability of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect public health and the environment, Congress is poised to adopt a fiscal year 2015 budget that would reduce the agency's funding for the fifth year in a row.

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New Study Finds Big Government Makes People Happy, "Free Markets" Don't

Forget about feeling “like a room without a roof,” or whatever that “happy” song says. If you want to know “what happiness is to you,” try living in a social democracy. A recent study confirms something leftists have suspected for a long time: People are happier in countries with larger governments, a more generous “welfare state” and more government intervention in the economy. Policies that depend on the so-called “free market,” on the other hand, decrease personal satisfaction.

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Valuing Labor Means Helping Workers, Especially When There Are No Jobs

As we take a three-day weekend to celebrate those who labor, let us take a moment to remember the families who won’t be planning picnics or a last trip to the beach. Despite some positive economic indicators, 9.7 million Americans are still out of work, almost a third for more than six months. More than seven million more have taken part-time work at poor wages to make ends meet even though they need full time work to pay the bills. And three-quarters of a million more have little hope and have given up looking for work and as a result are no longer counted as “unemployed.” (They are just “out of the labor force.”)

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The Unemployed: We Need Action, Not Excuses

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2014—At the close of seven weeks of "Witness Wednesdays" events on Capitol Hill, advocates and lawmakers issued an urgent call to renew emergency unemployment compensation ahead of the August recess. As members of Congress head home for town hall meetings and listening sessions, nine and a half million unemployed Americans will have the opportunity to directly contact them.

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Congress's Latest Assault on the EPA

On July 9, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) introduced H.R. 5034, the Stop the EPA Act of 2014. Incorporating the worst aspects of previous attempts to undermine the ability of federal agencies to address needed public protections, this bill would require a joint resolution of congressional approval for any standard developed by the U.S.

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What is this Country about Anymore?

Meet Mark. He's a 58 year old, college-educated veteran who lives in Oregon. He was laid off last September and has been unable to find work since. Mark's state unemployment benefits ran out in May. Since funding for the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program was cut last December, Mark and more than three million other Americans, including nearly 300,000 veterans, have been denied access to a second six months of support — a vital financial lifeline in this tough economy. Mark is way behind in his rent, is selling everything of value he owns, and fears he will be homeless soon.

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U.S. Defense Spending in Eight Charts

This week, the House is expected to debate and vote on the 2015 Defense Appropriations Act. On May 7, the House Armed Services Committee unanimously approved $496 billion in discretionary spending and $79.4 billion in war operations spending for the budget that starts Oct. 1. We explore how this stacks up against the rest of the world, who benefits most from defense spending, and what these funding levels mean for other national priorities.

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