32 Firms That Renounced America Paid CEOs $439 Million Last Year

A trickle has turned into a torrent. Burger King’s announcement last week that it would buy Canadian donut darling, Tim Horton’s, and then move the merged corporation to Canada represents the 13th such deal announced this year. Most companies pursuing these “corporate inversions” have abandoned America for the express purpose of lowering their U.S. tax bills.

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A Taxing Double Standard: Americans with Troubled Mortgages Penalized While Scofflaw Banks Enjoy Tax Breaks

In early August, Bank of America agreed to a $16.65 billion settlement, which includes funds for “consumer relief.” However, after tax write-offs and deductions, Bank of America's net penalty could be less than $15 billion.

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World Health Organization: Public Health Rules Needed to Curb E-Cigarette Risks

Contrary to industry advertising, a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) finds that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other electronic nicotine delivery systems pose significant public health hazards because of toxins emitted from the devices. The agency recommends that countries adopt e-cigarette rules to prevent misleading marketing of the products and to educate the public about the potential health risks involved.

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Drinking Diesel? Fracking Companies Use Toxic Substance without Permits

When it comes to protecting drinking water, fracking companies have just one federal rule to follow – get a permit if they are using diesel. But a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) indicates that many drillers can’t even abide by this simple requirement.

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Election Transparency Threatened by Lack of Resources for Key Agency

Impeded by a lack of resources, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has been slow to publicly release recent campaign finance disclosures. The FEC is the independent agency charged with enforcing federal election laws and making campaign finance information available to the American people. This information is vital, particularly in the wake of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that gutted our campaign finance laws, and significant delays in releasing such data are of serious concern to the health of our democracy.

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20 Tax Dodgers: $240 Million for CEOs, Big Loss for the American People

USA Today published a story last week entitled “20 big profitable companies paid no taxes.” Using data provided by S&P Capital IQ, the newspaper identified 20 firms that paid no federal taxes in the second quarter of this year despite reporting $4.4 billion in second quarter profits. Collectively, these 20 CEOs were paid $240 million by the corporations they lead, an average of $12 million per CEO.

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Unemployment Insurance: A 79-Year Old Promise to American Workers That Needs Renewing

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aug. 14, 1935, in the midst of the economy’s most severe contraction. At its lowest point, a quarter of the workforce was jobless, and in some areas, two-thirds of the unemployed had not worked for a year or more.  

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Industry Allies in Congress Assault Public Protections Once Again

Not content with restricting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect public health and the environment (see http://www.foreffectivegov.org/blog/congresss-latest-assault-epa), anti-regulatory members of Congress have broadened their sights to encompass the entire scope of federal agencies that provide public protections and safeguard the American people.

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Energy Department Conditionally Approves Controversial Maryland Export Terminal

On Sept. 11, 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has conditionally approved a Dominion Resources Inc. permit application to convert its existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility, located on the Chesapeake Bay, to an export terminal. The project must still receive final approval from several agencies, but if approved, the permit would allow the company to export up to 0.77 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas per day for 20 years to non-free trade countries like India and Japan. It could also increase the risk of catastrophic tanker accidents, air pollution, and water contamination.

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GAO Report Finds Problems with EPA Groundwater Protection Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not adequately monitoring more than 172,000 wells used to enhance oil and gas drilling and dispose of drilling wastewater, according to a July 28 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report, based on two years of research, identified several significant problems with EPA's program to protect groundwater from drilling chemicals and wastes.

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