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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EPA Official Sets the Record Straight

EPA Deputy Administrator has put up an interesting post on his blog "Flow of the River." EPA is in the middle of a rulemaking which would tighten the air quality standard for ozone, a.k.a. smog. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set the standard based on public health considerations. Peacock writes, I have something to say today for the sake of those many states, cities, counties and other local entities that have been commenting on EPA's proposal to tighten the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone:

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CSS Supports House Effort to Stop Bush's Regulatory Changes

On behalf of Citizens for Sensible Safeguards, OMB Watch Director of Regulatory Policy Rick Melberth wrote to Congressmen Brad Miller (D-NC) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA) in support of their efforts to curb President Bush's recent attempts to further manipulate and control the regulatory process. Find out more by downloading the letter.

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OMB Watch's New Regulatory Resource Center

OMB Watch is preparing to launch a web-based Regulatory Resource Center, and we need your help in making it useful. We have made a developmental site available here: Please consider taking some time to review the site. If you would like to provide us with feedback, please take our short survey on the appeal and usefulness of the site. We appreciate your feedback.

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Congressmen Urge Tighter Ozone Standard

Yesterday, 22 members of the House of Representatives wrote to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson urging him to tighten the national standard for ozone, a.k.a. smog. In June, EPA proposed a range of 0.070 parts per million (ppm) to 0.075 ppm for the new standard. The current standard is 0.084 ppm. While any standard within EPA's proposed range would be an improvement, it may not be good enough. As the congressmen point out:

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New White House Guidelines Fit into Broad Attack on Federal Protections

The White House has issued new guidelines for federal agencies in conducting risk analysis. Risk analysis, of which risk assessment is a central factor, is a process by which agencies identify and evaluate risks such as toxic exposure or structural failure. Risk analysis often lays the scientific or technical foundation for public health and safety rulemakings.

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OMB Risk Analysis Memorandum Continues Bush Administration Policy of Less Regulation

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2007—The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) today released a risk analysis memorandum, "Updated Principles for Risk Analysis," outlining principles that federal agencies must follow for risk assessment, management and communication. The memorandum reiterates a policy that has been in place since 1995. But that policy, taken in the context of other regulatory changes made by the Bush administration, continues a policy of less regulation even as the public demands more protections of our food, consumer products, environment and workplace.

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White House Expands Micromanagement of Agency Activity

Today, the White House issued a memo to the heads of federal agencies regarding risk assessments — a process by which agencies identify and evaluate risks such as toxic exposure or structural failure. Susan Dudley, head of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and Sharon Hays, a senior official in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, issued the memo. The memo takes existing principles from a 1995 White House memo and includes additional text in order to place the Bush White House spin on each item.

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Cost-Benefit Analysis: More Trouble than It's Worth

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report critiquing two EPA cost-benefit analyses on an oil spill prevention regulation. In 2002 and 2006, EPA amended the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule which requires oil-storage facilities to prepare plans in the event of an oil leak or spill. Because the amendments to the rule could have a significant impact on the economy, the White House required EPA to prepare cost-benefit analyses of both sets of amendments.

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Automakers Gear-Up to Stop Fuel Economy Reform

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has the dirt on the efforts of the big three — General Motors, Ford and Chrysler — to mislead the public about the benefits of improved fuel efficiency. The automakers are holding a public rally as part of lobbying efforts to persuade federal legislators to abandon proposed fuel efficiency reform, according to UCS.

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Latest Watcher

Be sure to check out the latest issue of our biweekly newsletter, The Watcher. Regulatory policy articles this time: Toy Recalls Bring Attention to Commission's Inadequacies OMB Manipulates Science in Cost-Benefit Analysis for Ozone Rule Size Matters: Nanotechnologies Present New Challenges

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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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