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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House Passes Bill to Improve Information Sharing with First Responders

On Tuesday, the House passed the Reducing Over-Classification Act of 2009 (H.R. 553). The legislation details steps the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must take to share intelligence with state, local, and tribal agencies.

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Bills to Reign in Controlled Unclassified Information Fly through House

A bill to reduce and standardize Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) designations moved quickly through the House in July, passing in both committee and on the House floor just a single week after it was introduced by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Tom Davis (R-VA). This bill, along with a similar piece of legislation that focuses solely on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), now goes to the Senate where it may have a tougher time given the limited amount of legislative time left in this congressional session.

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White House Issues Memo on Controlled Unclassified Information

The White House released a memorandum on May 9 establishing new rules governing the designation and sharing of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). By creating a single designation and consistent procedures, the memo attempts to resolve the growing problem of multiple Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) designations, which slow the sharing of information.

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Problems Disclosed on Classification Procedures at Intelligence Agencies

A recent report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) reviews the classification procedures at eight agencies and finds significant problems, which unnecessarily complicate classification procedures and inhibit the free flow of information.

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SBU Gets New Letters and Maybe a Better Policy

The Department of Defense (DoD) is finalizing policies to streamline categories used to restrict technically unclassified documents. The new policy to eliminate the multiple agency-specific "Sensitive But Unclassified" (SBU) procedures and replace them with a common set of "Controlled Unclassified Information" (CUI) standards is currently under presidential review.

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National Research Council Recommends Greater Openness

The National Research Council of the National Academies issued a report in October calling for policies to improve government openness with regard to scientific information. The report stressed that certain government policies developed after 9/11 overly restrict access to scientific information and thereby harm scientific progress and national security.

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NRC to Release Documents on Spill

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has revoked a three-year-old secrecy policy and plans to release documents from two nuclear fuel processing plants in response to congressional demands. This about-face was precipitated by a congressional inquiry into a uranium leak kept secret from the public for more than a year.

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Vice President Avoids Oversight, Claims Office not Part of Executive Branch

On June 21, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

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Terrorism Information Sharing Initiative Faces Several Hurdles

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) submitted the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) Implementation Plan to Congress in November. Through changes in policy and technology, the plan articulates a multi-year vision for improving terrorism information sharing across the federal government and between foreign, federal, state and local governments, as well as key members of the private sector.

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Supreme Court May Hear Secret Regulation Case

Several groups are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on a secret Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulation. The regulation requires airlines to check the identification of passengers. The Ninth Circuit held that, even though the rule is not publicly accessible, it does not violate the Constitution's protection of due process.

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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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