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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Questioning QALYs and CEA

Merrill Goozner of CSPI has a blog with an entry helpfully going through Quality Adjusted Life Years: Medical economists conduct these cost-benefit studies to determine if a new drug, medical device or surgical procedure is worth its pricetag. But how do they determine benefits? Over the years, the profession has developed a tool for measuring medical value known as the quality adjusted life year, or QALY. One year of perfect health gets a score of one QALY. If a patient is bedridden and in constant pain for that entire year, it might be considered a .3 (three-tenths of a year) QALY.

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Reg Reform Meets Lochner

Law professor and Center for Progressive Reform member scholar David Driesen has written a provocative paper comparing the positions of reg "reform" advocates with the anti-government attitudes of the architects of the Lochner era jurisprudence.

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Risk Bulletin Advances Graham Anti-Reg Agenda

From cost-benefit guidelines to the new draft policy on risk assessments, White House regulatory czar John Graham has steadily proceeded with a long-range plan laying the groundwork for dramatic limits on public safeguards.

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Circular A-4: Regulatory Analysis

The White House circular governing regulatory impact analyses Download PDF

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Ranking Regulatory "Investments" in Public Health

From FY03 budget volumes: discussion of cost-effectiveness analysis, QALYs, and league tables for ranking regulatory safeguards Download PDF

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Pollution and CBA as Knowing Killing

There is another brilliant contribution from scholar Lisa Heinzerling on regulatory policy issues. In her latest article, Prof. Heinzerling notes that "economic analysis has substantially succeeded in de-ethicizing environmental issues" that she wishes explicitly to "re-ethicize." The ethical norm she chooses to focus on is the prohibition against knowing killing. After a review of the norm as it is inscribed throughout the corpus of American law, Heinzerling observes that this norm animates our concern with pollution:

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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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White House Report Spins Bush Reg Failures

In a debate with high stakes for a public that is largely unaware of it, the White House released a report on Dec. 7 spinning its anti-regulatory record as a success.

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OIRA Report Available

The OIRA web page still hasn't been updated, but the final reg accounting report is available for download. We're making it available here.

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OMB Report Out Soon

OIRA's annual report on the costs and benefits of regulations is apparently coming out today, according to an OMB press release. (The OIRA web page hasn't yet been updated to include the report, but that will presumably happen soon.) OMB Watch filed comments on the report when it was released in draft form in March. It will be interesting in particular to find out if OIRA finally addressed the recurring errors that made their way into this year's draft. Stay tuned....

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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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more resources