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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Secret Risk Assessment Rule Aims to Halt Worker Safety Protections

The Bush administration is trying to rush through a Department of Labor (DOL) draft rule to require new worker safety standards to be based on a new risk assessment process that would potentially tie the hands of future administrations. The new rule was sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review in secret, violating the process OIRA has insisted agencies use for rulemaking.

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For Bush-Era Regulations, the Clock Is Ticking

In a memorandum to regulatory agencies, White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten has set a Nov. 1 deadline for any new regulations agencies wish to finalize by the end of the Bush administration. The memo will shape the work of White House officials and federal agency heads as they consider which regulations to push through in the coming months, with an eye toward securing an administrative legacy for President Bush.

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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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White House Blocking Whale Protection Rule

Multiple White House offices are working in concert to block a new policy that would expand federal protections for the North Atlantic right whale. The offices, including the office of Vice President Cheney, are questioning the findings of scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the agency attempting to finalize the rule.

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Fuel Economy Proposal: Higher Mileage, State Preemption

The U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Mary E. Peters, announced April 22 a proposed new rule to raise fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. In December 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which required revisions to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The new rule, if implemented, would be the first significant improvement in fuel efficiency standards since the CAFE program's inception in 1975.

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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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Bush Administration to Alter Employee Leave Protections

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a proposed rule that would alter federal protections for workers who need to take leave to care for themselves or their families. DOL chose to pursue the rule changes after hearing complaints from industry lobbyists.

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OMB Reports $508 Million in E-Gov Savings; Congress Remains Doubtful

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a report to Congress Feb. 14 that calculates the benefits of President Bush's 24 E-Government (E-Gov) Initiatives at approximately $508 million in Fiscal Year 2007, based on agencies' estimates. Congressional skepticism of the Initiatives, and subsequent reluctance to fund them, led OMB to develop a questionable funding mechanism using agency contributions from their annual budgets.

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Scientific Wrangling over Air Quality Standard for Lead

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to revise the national standard for airborne lead pollution, but differing scientific opinions among federal officials are further complicating a protracted rulemaking effort. The prevailing interpretation may have a significant impact on the agency's decision to tighten or weaken the standard.

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OSHA Issues Personal Protective Equipment Rule

Eight years after proposing it, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has finalized a worker safety rule. The final rule mandates employers pay for worker personal protective equipment (PPE). OSHA published the rule in the Federal Register on Nov. 15, and it is to take effect Feb. 13, 2008.

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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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