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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Obama and Open Government: Turning Vision into Reality

On his first full day in office, President Obama promised an administration premised on transparency, participation, and collaboration. If Obama is successful in transforming government in this way, what does that mean for you?

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The Teas of Transparency

2010 was a banner year for government transparency, with many significant advances and only a few disappointments. However, there were other events outside the world of government openness that seeped into the collective consciousness, and one of the most notable was the rise of the Tea Party in American politics. For this year-in-review article, we decided to take a somewhat tongue-in-cheek approach to assessing and commenting on events in government openness, playing off the theme of tea. Thus, we present to you … the Teas of Transparency.

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Whither Transparency in the Next Congress?

When the 112th Congress convenes in January, attention will be focused on the newly Republican-controlled House. On transparency issues, House Republican leaders have sounded positive tones. However, it remains to be seen whether bipartisan consensus on meaningful transparency can be achieved or whether transparency will be wielded as a partisan weapon.

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New Executive Order Reforms Controlled Unclassified Information

On Nov. 4, President Obama signed a new executive order on controlled unclassified information (CUI), reforming the system of safeguarding information that is not classified but is still considered "sensitive." Previous practices for handling CUI stymied public access and inhibited information sharing inside government. The new order has been praised by numerous government openness advocates.

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OMB Watch Lauds President Obama’s Executive Order on Controlled Unclassified Information

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2010—Today, the White House released a new executive order on controlled unclassified information (CUI) that deserves genuine praise as a simple but strong path forward in the effort to rein in the chaotic alphabet soup of unclassified information categories.

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Tell the Government to Say Cheese

Attempts to prevent citizens from recording the government have been rebuked in two recent cases.

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At UN, Obama Calls for Global Transparency but Offers Few Details

On Sept. 23, President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations (UN), calling on countries to strengthen government openness. He emphasized the importance of transparency in fighting corruption and increasing civic engagement. At a world summit the day before, Obama trumpeted his administration's new global development policy, which pledges more transparency related to U.S. aid activities. However, the administration refused to release the text of the policy, and details remain sparse.

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Administration Scores a ‘Shows Improvement’ on Secrecy Report Card

Today, released their annual Secrecy Report card, which tracks key indicators and statistics for executive branch secrecy. The Obama administration came into office placing a high priority on transparency and collaboration, promising to be the most open and accountable administration in history. The report, which covers the first 9 months of the Obama presidency, indicates the administration made noticeable progress in several areas.

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Waging War via PowerPoint

The NATO command in Afghanistan last week fired a staff officer for publicly criticizing the military's use of Microsoft's presentation software PowerPoint.

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EPA Seeks to Enhance Public Access to Chemical Data

Mountaintop The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed several changes to its regulation of chemicals that should improve the public's access to crucial information. The improved data collected under the proposed rule will help the agency and the public identify potential chemical risks and take action to manage those risks.

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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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