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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Dudley Hearing Scheduled for Nov. 13

The Homeland Security and Goverment Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the White House's nomination of Susan Dudley to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on Nov. 13. During her time as head of regulatory policy for the Mercatus Center, Dudley racked up a pretty extensive anti-regulatory record, opposing regulations to get arsenic out of drinking water, reduce smog levels and make cars more fuel efficient.

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Stop Susan Dudley Now!

The Bush administration is on the attack -- again. This time, it's with the nomination of Susan Dudley as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). OIRA is an important regulatory agency that reviews everything from auto safety standards to limits on industrial chemicals and air and water pollutants. Susan Dudley would cripple OIRA. As director of regulatory studies at the industry-funded Mercatus Center, she opposed countless environmental, health and safety rules, including:

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E. Coli Outbreak Is Reason to Better Protect Food Supply

Though federal agencies responded relatively quickly to the recent outbreak of E.Coli in bagged spinach, the case highlights the need to ensure the safety of the nation's food supply and to have adequate tracking systems in place to do so.

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A Hybrid Car, An Environmentalist Does Not Make

In her latest column, Cindy Skrzycki of The Washington Post summarizes the opposing view points of OMB Watch and the Mercatus Center over the nomination of former Mercatus Regulatory Program Director Susan Dudley to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: OMB Watch and Public Citizen . . . released a 68-page report last week using Dudley's writings to attack her. It chastised her for ties to corporate donors and for what it called "Dudleynomics," an emphasis on free-market solutions to health and safety issues at the public's expense.

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Latest Watcher

Be sure to check out the latest issue of our biweekly newsletter, The Watcher. Reg policy articles this time: Criticism of Draft Risk Assessment Bulletin May Delay Implementation Report Finds Dudley Unfit to Serve

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The Cost is Too High

Read OMB Watch and Public Citizen's new report on the White House's radical nominee for OIRA, Susan Dudley.

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Industry Buying Leverage at FDA

According to Wall Street Journal (subscription only), the FDA has been negotiating with industry to increase user fees, money paid by the drug industry to FDA ostensibly to help speed up drug approval. Small user fees were first introduced at FDA in the early 90's after industry complained that drug approval was too slow. The fees now make up over half of FDA's budget for drug reviews. Now FDA if negotiating yet another increase in these fees at closed-door meetings with industry representatives, several of them former FDA officials, according to the article:

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I'll have the cancer-flavored soft drink, please.

Just another reason to lay off the soda pop. Parents recently filed suit against Coca-Cola asking that the company eliminate ingredients from their products that can form the known-carcinogen benzene. From Consumer Reports: Also on Friday, a lawsuit over benzene was settled involving two smaller companies, Atlanta-based Zone Brands Inc. and Preston, Wash.-based Talking Rain Beverage Co., according to news reports. The companies reportedly denied that their products caused harm, but they had already agreed to change their ingredients.

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A Look at Risk Assessment

Click here for Rachel's Precaution Reporter's reprint of a Nature magazine article covering the White House's Proposed Risk Assessment Bulletin.

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Nanotechnology: Data Quality Act Strikes Again

Environmental groups seeking stronger regulation of products containing nanotechnology, such as sunscreen and cosmetics, may be thwarted by the Data Quality Act, a provision that allows individuals (or industry groups) to challenge the integrity of government science.

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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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