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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Bush Administration Says Americans Are Worth Less

A recent Associated Press investigation shows the Environmental Protection Agency has been using new statistics to assign monetary values to the lives potential regulations will save. "The 'value of a statistical life' is $6.9 million, the Environmental Protection Agency reckoned in May – a drop of nearly $1 million from just five years ago," according to AP.

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For Crane Safety Rulemaking, No End in Sight

In today's New York Times, public policy mediator Susan Podziba writes an op-ed which uses two recent and tragic New York City crane accidents, which killed nine people, as an entree into the rulemaking process at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA has had a rule to improve safety for crane and derrick workers in its regulatory pipeline for years. The pending rule, which would update an outdated policy from 1971, is welcomed by worker safety advocates and industry alike. Podziba tells the story of how the proposal was developed:

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Krill Protection Rule Clears White House

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is proposing to prohibit fishing for krill, an important species in the marine ecosystem, in U.S. waters. The proposed rule comes after NOAA responded to objections from the White House.

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OMB Watch Launches Regulatory Resource Center

Today, OMB Watch launched a web-based Regulatory Resource Center at The Resource Center provides tips for advocates who want to get involved in regulatory decision making and educational resources for anyone interested in how the federal regulatory process works.

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White House Interferes with Smog Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced March 12 its revision to the national air quality standard for ozone, or smog. While the new standard is an improvement, EPA did not go as far as its own scientists had recommended. Last-minute changes orchestrated by the White House have also mired the rule change in controversy. In addition to the new standard, EPA proposed legislative changes to the Clean Air Act, which environmentalists and lawmakers immediately criticized.

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OMB Watch up for Online Advocacy Award

Do you like OMB Watch? Would you like to boost our fragile self-esteem? Then please vote for us in the Golden Dot Awards, presented annually for excellence in online campaigning by the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet at George Washington University. OMB Watch has been nominated for Best Issue Advocacy Blog. The nomination is for all three of our blogs: Advocacy Blog, Budget Blog, and Reg•Watch. Vote here: (OMB Watch has the utmost respect for the other candidates and has vowed to run a clean campaign.)

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Sign up for Reg Watch in Review

Reg•Watch in Review is a biweekly email update of recent news from the regulatory world. Reg•Watch in Review highlights regulatory process issues and stories about environmental, product safety, workplace safety, and scientific integrity policy. Preview today's edition here, or sign up below. Email Address: * First Name: * Last Name: *

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Big Oil Looks to White House to Weaken Ozone Standard

Big oil is knocking on the White House's door looking for sympathy over an EPA proposal to tighten the national standard for ozone, aka smog. On January 25, representatives from ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute met behind closed doors with officials from EPA and the White House Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). (Frank O'Donnell at the Blog for Clean Air has the full story.)

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Appreciating the Benefits of Government Regulation

Check out a new opinion column by OMB Watch titled, "How Bush Undermines Government Regulation," available at the Campaign for America's Future website. The column discusses how cost-benefit analysis in regulatory decision making can be a barrier to the promise of good government: By using cost-benefit analysis and forcing regulators onto an economic playing field, detractors of government regulation have perverted its image into one of job loss and higher consumer prices.

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The Price of Regulatory Delay

The nonprofit group Environmental Defense has released a new analysis showing that a one-year delay in the implementation of a diesel emissions reduction rule could result in 1,400 premature deaths, 3,000 heart attacks, and 24,000 asthma attacks. The regulatory process is often slowed to a halt under the weight of analytical burdens and political pressure from top agency officials or the White House. Environmental Defense's analysis proves regulatory delay is not just a government management issue — it's a public health issue.

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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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