CEO of Alcoa Embraces Regulations as Good for Business, the Economy

The fact that public protections can increase productivity, spur innovation, and encourage creation of new markets is not news to us – or, apparently, to business leaders. New standards can create incentives to improve technologies and manufacturing processes

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One Step Closer to Safer Food

Two years after Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally proposed rules that will give the law life and allow the agency to enforce standards to thwart foodborne illnesses. The new safeguards will allow the FDA to do more than just react after people get sick; it will require producers to develop plans to actively preventcontaminated food from getting to grocery store shelves.

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The $4.5 Billion Criminal Fine for BP Oil Spill: Enough to Prevent Bad Corporate Behavior?

Two years after the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill killed 11 people and spewed millions of barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has agreed to plead guilty to 14 criminal charges, including manslaughter charges from the deaths. The company will pay $4.5 billion in damages, including $4 billion for the criminal charges and $525 million to securities regulators. BP will face additional civil fines of up to $20 billion as a result of its violations of the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act.

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Progress: Bill That Would Have Undercut Work of Independent Federal Agencies Delayed Until 2013

Great news! Thanks to the hard work of consumer, environmental, labor, and other public interest groups (including the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards) and engaged citizens like you, lawmakers put the brakes on the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act (S. 3468). The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has decided to hold a hearing on the bill to gather more public input before moving forward.

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Poll Shows Small Business Owners Support Stronger Toxic Chemical Standards

According to a recent poll from the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), a large majority of small business owners support stronger regulation of toxic chemicals. The results of the survey highlight the overwhelming backing for controlling these chemicals, with most small business owners voicing support for enhanced regulation and disclosure of toxic substances.

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This week, released new enhancements to the site as part of a continuing redesign and improvement effort. There are more changes to come, but the latest features make rulemaking dockets easier to navigate and understand.

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New Online Resource Exposes National Federation of Independent Business Funding and Political Activities

The Center for Media and Democracy launched an online resource this week to help uncover the interests behind the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a “trade association” that claims to represent small business and says it is nonpartisan.

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Tennessee Valley Authority Found Responsible for 2008 Coal Ash Disaster

Last week, a federal court held the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the nation's largest public utility, responsible for a massive 2008 coal ash spill near Kingston, TN, that released 5.4 million cubic yards of sludge into the surrounding community. Coal ash can contain arsenic, lead, chromium, and other toxic substances, which many Kingston area residents say contaminated their properties. The decision could provide compensation for many harmed by the spill, but better public protections to prevent these types of spills are still needed.

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Where Have All the New Rules Gone?

An editorial published in The New York Times over the weekend describes the trend – a matter of serious concern in the public interest community – of public protections being put on hold, due in large part to industry interference.

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OMB Watch Stands Up for Strong Safety Standards, Comments on Troubling Food Safety Rule

Tuesday, OMB Watch submitted comments on a new rule being considered by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) that would dramatically change the poultry inspection process in this country. Our comments detailed the rule's potential consequences to food and worker safety: more tainted chicken making it to our families' dinner tables and more injuries on the job.

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