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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Leaked EPA Memo Reveals Likely Delays from Economics Analysis

OMB requirements that agencies conduct economics-based analyses of the costs and benefits of regulatory decisions have delayed several major environmental protections and prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to install working groups of economists for every major rulemaking, according to an internal EPA memorandum. Uncovered by Inside EPA, the memo from EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Steve Johnson instructs agency officials to adopt new rules that subordinate environmental decisions to economic considerations:

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Administration Calls Cost-Benefit Analysis 'Unreliable'

The Bush administration altered a study of the economics of saving a threatened species by deleting 55 pages on the benefits of saving the species and leaving only discussion about the costs to industry. Although the administration explains the deletion as a concession to the inadequacy of economic discourse in making policy decisions for threatened and endangered species, the cost-benefit analysis will still be used to reduce the amount of threatened habitat to be protected.

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OMB Finalizes Changes to Regulatory Decision-Making

OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) issued final guidance today that instructs federal agencies on specific analytical methods for regulatory decisions. This guidance, which contains few substantive changes from the draft version released in February, commits to put “more emphasis on cost-effectiveness analysis as well as benefit-cost analysis” than the Clinton-era guidance it replaces -- raising the bar on new health, safety and environmental protections. Specifically, the guidance:

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Graham Advises Agencies on Valuing Lives of Seniors

In a Washington Post op-ed on June 1, Robert Hahn and Scott Wallsten of the American Enterprise Institute pose a fantastic scenario: There are two simultaneous fires, one at a nursing home and one at a nursery. The problem is that the fire chief has only one pump, and must choose whether to save 11 seniors or 10 toddlers. Obviously, the chief should choose the toddlers, they write.

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EPA Blasted for 'Senior Death Discount'

During a recent series of public meetings, senior citizens and public health advocates attacked EPA’s practice of assigning less value to the lives of those over 70 when monetizing the benefits of prospective regulation -- causing agency Administrator Christie Whitman to denounce the method herself. EPA employed this practice, which has been

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EPA: Friend to Seniors?

Publicly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has expressed great interest in protecting the elderly, recently launching an “Aging Initiative” to examine their particular vulnerability to environmental health hazards. Yet behind the scenes, the agency is employing analytical methods that systematically devalue the lives of seniors in setting environmental standards, making strong protections much less likely.

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Administration Devalues the Elderly

The elderly frequently suffer the consequences of a lifetime's exposure to industrial contaminants, including heart or lung failure from smog and soot, and cancer from toxic chemicals. Tens of thousands die prematurely every year as a result. Over the years, we have made significant strides in addressing these problems, and improving the quality of life for our seniors, through strong regulatory protections. Yet the Bush administration has recently taken steps that could halt this progress.

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OMB Proposes Changes in Regulatory Decision-Making

OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) proposed new guidance February 3 that instructs federal agencies how to make regulatory decisions, including the specific analytical methods that should be employed.

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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