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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FERC Proposes Changes to Public Access Policies

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeks public input on “changes that should be made to its regulations to restrict unfettered general public access to critical energy infrastructure information, but still permit those with a need for the information to obtain it in an efficient manner.” The request for public input was published Jan. 16, 2002 by FERC and appeared in the Jan. 23, 2002 Federal Register. Read the press release on FERC's site.

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Democracy's Strength -- An Informed Public

Recently, the push has been to exempt Critical Infrastructure information from the FOIA. No one disagrees that there is some information that the public should not have, at least for a specified period of time — although there may be disagreements on the nature of that information and on the length of time. (Keynote address by Patrice McDermott, Senior Policy Analyst, OMB Watch, to US Department of Energy, Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Conference.) Democracy's Strength—An Informed Public Keynote Address by Patrice McDermott to U.S. Department of Energy

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Taking Another Look at the Critical Infrastructure Debate

On September 12, one day after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, although most hearings were cancelled, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee convened a hearing on America's critical information infrastructure. The hearing was originally scheduled to examine the security of the critical cyber-infrastructure and to allow the Committee to hear the challenges that remain in government's efforts to secure the critical information infrastructure, which includes telecommunications and transportation, under Presidential Decision Directive 63.

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Critical Infrastructure Information Sign-on Letter

Click here to view a sign-on letter that public interest organizations sent to Senators urging them to oppose attaching S. 1456, the “Critical Infrastructure Information Act," (introduced by Senators Bennett and Kyl) as an amendment to the the bi-partisan bioterrorism bill introduced by Senators Kennedy and Frist or to any other piece of legislation that might move through the Congress in the final days of the session.

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Industry Letter Supporting H.R. 2435 (Davis-Moran) and S. 1456 (Bennett-Kyl)

Link here for an industry letter to President Bush in support of two bill addressing cyber security issues H.R. 2435 (Davis-Moran) and S. 1456 (Bennett-Kyl).

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Critical Infrastructure Information -- What's the Problem?

According to government officials in both the executive and legislative branches, there is a growing concern among businesses that information businesses want to be able to share with government about vulnerabilities in the nation's critical infrastructure will not be held confidential by the government once it is in the government's hands. "Critical Infrastructure" and Vulnerabilities

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Analysis of Cyber Security Information Act

HR 4246, the "Cyber Security Information Act" is the first volley coming from a push by industry over the last year or two to carve out an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act. The bill reflects the concerns of industry to protect information about vulnerabilities from those who would use or exploit that information. What The Bill Does The bill creates five new definitions and a new FOIA exemption. Definitions

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Critical Infrastructure Information

OMB Watch is building a new website to serve as a central point of access to information on Critical Infrastructure Information.

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Background on CII

OMB Watch has articles, fact sheets, and letters about the Davis-Moran bill (H.R. 2435), and the Bennett-Kyl bill (S.B. 1456). To post information, please contact OMB Watch.

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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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