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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A 300-Foot High Fireball from an Exploding Bakken Oil Train: When Will New Rail Safety Standards Be Approved?

On Presidents' Day, a train carrying volatile crude oil derailed in Fayette County, West Virginia, igniting several railcars and creating a fireball 300 feet high. While no one was seriously injured, the incident is a stark reminder of the need for stronger safeguards to protect communities near the tracks that transport crude oil.

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What Are We Doing to Our Children's Brains?

The numbers are startling. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.8 million more children in the U.S. were diagnosed with developmental disabilities between 2006 and 2008 than a decade earlier. During this time, the prevalence of autism climbed nearly 300 percent, while that of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder increased 33 percent. CDC figures also show that 10 to 15 percent of all babies born in the U.S. have some type of neurobehavorial development disorder. Still more are affected by neurological disorders that don’t rise to the level of clinical diagnosis.

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Dollar Stores Found Selling Toys, Earrings, and More Containing Lead and Other Toxins

Target and Walmart made headlines in 2013 when both companies pledged to phase-out certain hazardous chemicals from their supply chains, good news for the millions of Americans who rely on these stores for household and personal care products. But discount retailers known as "dollar stores" have yet to follow suit, putting the communities they serve at risk of toxic chemical exposures.

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The 16th Amendment: Raising Revenues for Public Investments Since 1913

One hundred and two years ago today, Wyoming became the final state to ratify the 16th Amendment, giving Congress the constitutional authority to establish a federal income tax. Later that year, Congress used that authority to establish the modern income tax system.

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President's Revenue Plan Rewards Tax Dodgers

President Obama’s budget, which was released today, rewards corporate tax avoiders by forgiving hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate income taxes they owe on profits stashed offshore. The president proposed a minimum tax on offshore corporate profits last year, but only with today’s budget was he specific about the tax rates he would propose.

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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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Yellowstone River Spill Shows the Risks of Keystone to Public Health and Natural Resources

On Jan. 17, an oil pipeline leaked an estimated 50,000 gallons of crude oil along the Yellowstone River near Glendive, Montana. The incident contaminated the town's municipal water system, highlighting the risk of building pipelines near water sources and elevating concerns about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

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Keystone Pipeline: Foreign Profits, American Risk

Media coverage of the Keystone XL pipeline is coalescing around a single narrative. It goes like this: environmentalists oppose the pipeline because of climate change concerns, and U.S. construction companies support the pipeline because it creates jobs. Environmentalists warn that tar sands crude oil has three times the global warming potential of conventional crude. Oil industry interests shrug and say Canadian companies will continue to extract tar sands, with or without the pipeline. Pipeline opponents then counter: fewer than 50 permanent jobs will be needed to staff the pipeline, a few thousand temporary construction jobs to build it. But this rendering of the debate misses the larger picture.

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New Legislation Aims to End High-Frequency Trading but Misses Opportunity to Invest in Critical, Underfunded Public Needs

Earlier this week, Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen introduced a much-needed sales tax on Wall Street transactions. The legislation would largely put an end to high-frequency trading by firms seeking to game the market.

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