The Administration's New Fracking Rule Has a Few Catches

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) just released a long-awaited rule that regulates fracking on federal and tribal lands, the first revision to federal fracking standards in almost 30 years. BLM currently manages over 100,000 oil and gas wells – over 90 percent of which are fracked. The rule establishes minimum safeguards that must be followed when drilling occurs on federal or tribal lands.

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Interactive Maps and New Report Show State Chemical Safety Policies at Risk from Proposed Federal Legislation

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2015—Two competing bills designed to revise the Toxic Substances Control Act were introduced last week. A new report and interactive maps from the Center for Effective Government unpack the impacts of the two bills. Reducing Our Exposure to Toxic Chemicals: Stronger State Health Protections at Risk in Efforts to Reform Federal Chemical Law discusses the failures of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 and the starkly different Senate bills that attempt to fix them.

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Oregon Officials Want to Ban Toxins from Children’s Products. A Federal Bill Could Stop Them.

Leaded gasoline. Lead-based paint chips. Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles. These are a few things parents no longer have to worry about, thanks to government standards and safeguards. But we still have a long way to go in protecting our children from hazardous chemicals. Manufacturers can still use toxins in children’s products – without disclosing them to consumers.

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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.

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As Congress Considers Legislative Improvements, New Report Shows Federal Agencies Still Struggle to Process Public Information Requests in a Timely, Consistent Way

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2015—The Center for Effective Government released its second annual access to information scorecard today, grading the 15 key agencies that receive the most public information requests. The findings: eight out of the 15 agencies improved their overall grades from last year, but none earned an overall A grade. While the number of agencies with overall failing grades fell from five to two, another eight received “unsatisfactory” D grades.

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UPDATE: President Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

UPDATE (2/25/2015): President Obama followed through on his pledge and vetoed the Keystone XL bill on Tuesday, within hours of the bill arriving at his desk.

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Center for Effective Government Urges Congress to Pass Legislation to Strengthen Freedom of Information Act

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2015—Leaders in the Senate and House have introduced legislation to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The reforms would significantly improve access to public information. The Center for Effective Government applauds the work done to develop this legislation and urges both houses of Congress to quickly pass it and send it to President Obama to sign.

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Settlement in Public Interest Lawsuit Should Improve Fracking Disclosure in Wyoming

Drilling companies nationwide have been keeping the identities of many fracking chemicals a secret by simply stamping them "confidential business information," also known as "trade secrets." In Wyoming, regulators had long accepted these claims with little validation, and residents were left in the dark about the toxic chemicals being injected into the ground near their homes, schools, and water supplies. A recent settlement agreement in a lawsuit filed by public interest groups, including the Center for Effective Government, will change this practice.

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Toxic Industrial Releases Rose 14 Percent in 2013, Primarily Due to Metal Mining Wastes

Data from the Toxics Release Inventory released last month reveals significant increases in toxic pollution across the country in 2013. Toxins released from industrial facilities into surrounding communities increased by more than 500 million pounds, or 14 percent, between 2012 and 2013.  This is the most significant increase in toxins in years. (See our Right-to-Know Network (RTK NET) website).

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Wyoming to Strengthen Fracking Chemical Disclosure in Response to Citizen Pressure

CASPER, WY, Jan. 26, 2015—Under a settlement agreement approved late Friday (Jan. 23), the Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission must adopt more rigorous policies for scrutinizing industry requests to keep the identities of fracking chemicals secret.

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