New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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Debunking the Texas Miracle

In a Forbes opinion piece last week Christi Craddick, one of Texas’ three elected members of the Railroad Commission, the public entity responsible for regulating the oil and gas industries, asked that presidential candidates spell out their national energy plan – and suggested that Texas would serve as a good model. In her words, “Texas has developed a globally renowned model that allows industry to flourish in an environmentally responsible way.”

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Report Finds Flaws in Small Business Advocacy Office

According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy has failed to develop and implement procedures necessary to ensure the office is effectively carrying out its mission of representing small businesses before federal agencies.  

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EPA Scientific Integrity Proposal Missing Critical Elements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) draft scientific integrity policy is missing critical elements needed to effectively safeguard science at the agency, OMB Watch said in comments filed yesterday. The policy must be improved if the agency is to ensure that the best science informs policy decisions that affect the health and environmental quality of all Americans.

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Administration Fumbling Toward Scientific Integrity

The Obama administration's efforts to protect scientific integrity moved forward recently with the submission of five finalized agency policies and 14 draft policies, but progress has been slow and haphazard. The administration recognizes that sound, uncensored science is critically important to protecting public health and the environment. The administration also understands that agencies should foster a culture of scientific integrity that includes effective policies and oversight to protect science from political manipulation and research misconduct. However, it has yet to undo the damage wrought by the previous administration.

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Obama Continues Post-Spill Reforms to Better Police Drilling

The Obama administration continued revamping offshore oil drilling regulation by recently announcing the next step in its plans to reorganize the Department of the Interior – creating a new agency to oversee drilling safety.

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House Moves to Reform Advisory Committees

We’re a little late in reporting this, but on July 26, the House passed a bill to improve the transparency and accountability of federal advisory committees.

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Courts Block Deepwater Drilling Moratorium, Salazar Issues Revisions in Response

On July 8, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Obama administration's attempt to block deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. In a three-paragraph ruling, the court denied by a 2-1 vote the administration's request to stay an earlier ruling by a federal district court that struck down the moratorium. In response, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has revised the moratorium.

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Minerals Management Service Acted More like Agent than Regulator

The federal agency responsible for regulating oil and gas extraction let oil companies like BP write their own safety regulations, ignored or downplayed the environmental threats from drilling, and issued drilling permits before fully consulting with other regulatory agencies. The Obama administration has launched an overhaul of the agency and has sent to Congress a legislative proposal to address the looming disaster in the Gulf Coast region.

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Interior Agency Split to Devote Attention to Safety and Environment

The Interior Department announced yesterday that it will split into two parts the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the troubled agency that has been blamed for not doing enough to prevent the explosion and ensuing oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

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FDA Reviewing Policy for Conflicts on Advisory Panels

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tweaking the way it treats advisory committee members who have financial conflicts of interest. FDA will require more detailed information on the financial interests of members who have been granted waivers to serve on committees despite a potential conflict, according to draft guidance released Wednesday.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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