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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Increased Safety Standards Save Lives

A new study has shown that lowering the height of SUVs by as little as half an inch and adding other safety features can cut the number of deaths of car passengers struck by SUVs by nearly 50 percent, saving 600 to 800 lives per year, if the standards are fully implemented. From the New York Times:

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Making Our Food Less Safe

The Detroit Free Press reports on a new industry-led effort to ban state and local governments from limiting genetically engineered products in their communities. In response to local initiatives in towns and counties in California and New England that ban raising genetically-engineered crops, state legislatures in18 states have put forward proposals "that would bar towns and counties from enacting local legislation to regulate genetically engineered seed." Initiatives have already passed in 14 of the 18 states.

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More on Cable a la Carte

National Journal has an interesting take on the cable a la carte issue here. Click here for some background on the position that the FCC appears to be now retreating from.

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More on NHTSA's Unequal 'Regional' Recalls

Public Citizen recently argued an appeal of a terrible court decision that upheld NHTSA's practice of unfairly denying the rights of many across the nation to recall notices and free repairs in certain auto defect cases. NHTSA has been allowing regionally-restricted recalls, which PubCit argues violate the Safety Act. Download their appeal brief and reply brief.

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Bush Administration Actually Does Something for Public?

Could it be? The administration might be ready to do something to protect the public? Here's a report from Congress Daily:

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Country of Origin Labels... for Socks

The FTC just announced an updated rule on country-of-origin labeling for socks. Meanwhile, we still can't get country-of-origin labels for the food we eat. The slogan should be "Buy American -- for footwear, not for food."

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Open Gov meets Right to Know meets Reg Policy

Here at OMB Watch, we have separate programs for open government, the public's right to know about industry harms (although we stick to environmental right to know), and regulatory policy. Every now and then, an issue comes along that hits all those areas at once.

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Good News and Bad News for the TV Fan

After previously touting a flawed cost-benefit analysis as a basis to reject requiring cable à la carte, the FCC is now showing signs of reversing course. The Wall St. Journal reports that new FCC chairman Kevin Martin said in a public forum that à la carte pricing for cable service "could be economically feasible and in consumers' best interests," conceding that the earlier cost-benefit assessment was flawed. Ah, but the bad news (if you're a grown-up and want to have television for grown-ups), from USA Today:

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A Little Good News for the Holidays

The New York Times reports that more and more companies are finding it profitable to go green: "There are a lot of creative types looking for the next big thing," said Bob Sheppard, deputy director for corporate programs at Clean Air-Cool Planet, a nonprofit environmental education organization. "Well, these days, environment is it." It is impossible to quantify the size of the environmental industry. Many of the newer companies are privately held. And many "green" products - more efficient power generators, say, or biodegradable plastics - are parts of other industries.

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Maybe This Time the Wrap Will Stick

This might make you think twice the next time you order pizza or unwrap a piece of candy. An ex-DuPont official recently leaked documents detailing how DuPont covered up 20-years of studies showing that the chemical Zonyl, produced by DuPont and used in the making of candy wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, pizza boxes and other food packaging, was degrading into the dangerous chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and seeping into the food products at levels three-times the FDA-recommended limit from 1967.

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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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