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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Recently in the news

Check out some of the latest news articles of interest to regulatory policy: Assault on Science:
  • Chris Mooney, "Some Like It Hot," Mother Jones, May-June 2005 Forty public policy groups have this in common: They seek to undermine the scientific consensus that humans are causing the earth to overheat. And they all get money from ExxonMobil.
  • Bill McKibben, "Climate of Denial," id. One morning in Kyoto, we won a round in the battle against global warming. Then special interests and pseudoscience snatched the truth away. What happened?

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Mad cow cover-up (again)

The New York Times is reporting that Friday's announcement of the second confirmed case of mad cow in the U.S. was delayed ... for seven months! Although the Agriculture Department confirmed on Friday that a cow that died last year was infected with mad cow disease, a test the agency conducted seven months ago indicated that the animal had the disease. The result was never publicly disclosed.

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Unified Agenda out today

The semiannual Unified Agenda is available in today's Federal Register. It will eventually be available in database form on this site; until then, here are links to the PDFs of the agendas for certain key agencies:
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • EPA
  • HHS
  • Interior
  • Labor
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Transportation
  • USDA

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New agency agendas

BNA's Daily Report for Executives (a subscription-only service) has already combed through a copy of tomorrow's edition of the Federal Register, in which the agencies are releasing their semiannual agendas for the next six months of regulatory priorities. We have some information available to help people decipher the agendas: click here for more.

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Deadly food poisoning breaks out while White House fiddles

Listeria — the deadly foodborne pathogen with the second highest hospitalization rate and single highest fatality rate of all foodborne pathogens — is breaking out all over: FDA has ordered a nationwide recall of Sea Specialties brand smoked salmon, while a Michigan sausage maker, a Florida maker of chicken meat wraps, and a California producer of teriyaki chicken products all announced voluntary recalls of their products this week, because of potential Listeria contamination.

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Rolling over on safety: the new evidence

If your vehicle crashes and rolls over, you should be able to walk away from the crash: the forces in a rollover crash are lower in degree than the forces from other collisions. What should be the case in theory is not, however, the case in fact. Even though rollovers amount to only three percent of all vehicle crashes, rollovers account for one third of all crash fatalities — 10,000 deaths every year. The gap suggests that poor vehicle design makes rollovers more dangerous.

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Senators Seek to Block Importation of Canadian Beef

In an effort led by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), nine senators are seeking a resolution that would block an Agriculture rule allowing the re-importation of beef from Canada in light of a new case of mad cow disease discovered last month in Alberta. The USDA has decided to delay re-importation for older cattle, but has not withdrawn the rule or delayed re-importation for younger cattle. Click here to contact your representatives. Read OMB Watch analysis on mad cow disease.

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Would you feed your kids glow-in-the-dark food?

The FDA has announced that it will increase the amount of radiation that can be used to zap food products before they reach the table. Here's some insight from Public Citizen: A recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision to increase by 50 percent the maximum radiation dose that can be used to irradiate food raises questions about the health effects of consuming such food and should be reconsidered, Public Citizen told the agency today in a letter. Public Citizen believes the rule should be revoked and is requesting a public hearing.

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New Cases of BSE Highlight Need for Strong Safeguards

With two new cases of mad cow disease in Canada, questions of food safety in the U.S. are once again making headlines, and two new articles do nothing to squelch national fears. According to the New York Times, scientists have recently discovered that the proteins that cause mad cow disease may be present in more parts of the animal than previously thought. Until now, scientists believed that the mad cow prion only existed in the brain and spinal tissue and removing those parts was enough to protect the food supply.

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57 channels, nothing on, and the price is still going up

Consumers Union has an excellent companion website, Hear Us Now, with a wealth of information about, among other things, cable and satellite TV service. If you were concerned by the news that the FCC rigged a cost-benefit analysis in order to benefit the cable and media giants and deny consumers meaningful choice in their cable subscriptions, check out the Hear Us Now action alert, through which you can send comments to the FCC urging them to do the right thing.

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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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