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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Let's Have Contractor Disclosure Already

A disclosure document

Last week, a group of more than 60 House lawmakers sent a letter to President Obama offering their "full support" for final release of a proposed executive order (EO) that would require disclosure of contractors' political spending. After more than three months of baseless attacks on the prospective EO from a relentless special interest smear machine, it's time for the president to establish this basic measure of accountability within the federal contracting system.

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Studies Show Regulation Protects Health and Safety, Encourages Job Creation

Three recently published studies discuss the relationship between regulations and economic development. One study focuses on the job-creation potential of an individual environmental rule, and another touts the economic benefits of clean energy investments. The third study debunks a widely quoted but inaccurate report on the economic costs of regulations. All three reinforce an argument that public interest advocates have made for decades: government standards and public investments in clean energy protect health and safety and encourage job creation.

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House Questions Future of Government Printing Office

On July 22, the House passed an appropriations bill that makes deep cuts and policy changes to the Government Printing Office (GPO), an agency that plays an important role in current information dissemination for all three branches of the federal government. The bill raises troubling questions about Congress's understanding of and commitment to GPO’s primary responsibility for making public documents available to the American people.

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Army Report Highlights Need for More Contracting Officers

A recently released review of the U.S. Army's acquisition process reveals that the service must invest in more acquisition personnel and better training to help address failed weapons programs and their associated costs. Arresting staggering cost increases is an important objective for the Army, but Congress's current obsession with deficit reduction may become the greatest impediment to saving taxpayer dollars.

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Whose Contracting Mess Won't Appear in FAPIIS, but Should?

They hate us for our freedoms.

Give yourself credit if you guessed "ArmorGroup North America Inc." (AGNA) and the "Lord of the Flies" environment they oversaw in the housing camp for U.S embassy guards in Kabul, Afghanistan, which our friends over at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) exposed back in 2009.

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Campaign to Cut Waste Uses Recovery Tools to Improve Performance, but Challenges Remain

On June 13, President Obama signed an executive order (E.O.) initiating the "Campaign to Cut Waste." The E.O., titled "Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government," builds on many of the administration’s previous reforms while borrowing some of the better tools developed to execute and oversee the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). However, its impact may be reduced due to recent budget cuts to a key government transparency fund.

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Jamie Leigh Jones Law beyond Dispute

Jamie Leigh Jones

Mother Jones reports that Jamie Leigh Jones – the woman who in 2005 made explosive allegations of gang rape and intimidation while employed in Iraq by former Halliburton subsidiary KBR – stands a “good chance” of losing her civil suit against the contractor due to “significant holes and discrepancies in her story.” These revelations, however, should not call into question the meaningful legislation drafted and passed into law in response to her alleged ordeal.

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Proposed Congressional Changes to the Regulatory Process Unnecessary

On June 23, several senators outlined proposals for revamping the regulatory system, a system they blame for the nation's economic problems despite evidence to the contrary. Cass Sunstein, administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), told the senators that the proposals were largely unnecessary and could have harmful unintended consequences.

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Administration to Revamp Federal Web Strategy

The Obama administration announced on June 13 a plan to retool its approach to federal websites, with an emphasis on consolidating or eliminating sites. Although the plan has the potential to increase transparency, open government advocates are concerned that important information could end up on the chopping block.

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House Oversight Committee Moves Troublesome DATA Act to Floor

This morning, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform unanimously approved the DATA Act (PDF). And that's a problem, because now it's headed to the House floor with a number of provisions we have serious concerns about.

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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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