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 Administration Tackles Important Open Government Issues in Broad, Ambitious Plan

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6—Today, the Obama administration released the Second National Action Plan as part of its ongoing participation in the international Open Government Partnership (OGP). The goals of the plan are organized into three major areas: increase public integrity, manage resources more effectively, and improve public services. The plan contained 23 commitments to strengthen transparency and public participation in government, many with greater detail than was included in the first National Action Plan in 2011.

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Defense Department Takes Narrower Approach to Controlled Unclassified Information

A new Department of Defense (DOD) rule requires defense contractors to protect “unclassified controlled technical information” from unauthorized access and disclosure. The rule, issued Nov. 18, is much narrower than DOD’s proposed rule, which had raised concerns that it could result in the inappropriate withholding of public information.

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Calls for Safer Chemicals Dominate Listening Session on Chemical Security

On Nov. 15, three federal agencies held the second of a series of “listening sessions” to improve chemical facility safety and security. Held in Washington, DC, the major point of discussion during the daylong session was on the need for the federal government to require high-risk facilities to convert to safer chemicals when available and affordable.

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House Bills Give Free Reign to the Oil and Gas Industry – Undermine Public Participation

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills that would give the oil and gas industry free reign over federal lands and hinder public participation in environmental decision-making. Both bills, however, face an uphill battle in the Senate and the Obama administration has already vowed to veto them.

Here is a quick summary of the two bills:

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Platinum-Plated Pensions

In the current budget debate, the loudest calls for Social Security cuts are coming from two lobby groups led by CEOs who will never have to worry about their own retirement security.

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E-Gov Spotlight: Centralized Product Recall Portal Needs Significant Improvements

The idea behind the U.S. government-run website represents the best, most practical qualities of the Internet: to help consumers with valuable, timely, up-to-date recall information. Spanning six federal agencies, aims to be a 'one-stop shop' for consumers concerned about the safety of the products they buy for themselves and their families. It is supposed to make finding recall information easy and efficient. However, the intentions of are severely hampered by poor implementation, resulting in an unusable, inconvenient website.

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Hydrogen Fluoride – A Toxic Chemical in Your Neighborhood?

Across the nation, 167 industrial facilities currently store and use hydrogen fluoride, a dangerous and highly toxic gas, in their manufacturing processes. In the past 15 years, 129 incidents have occurred, causing 100 injuries and five deaths, a high accident rate given the number of facilities. Many of these facilities are located in densely populated areas, and a release of hydrogen fluoride could put millions in danger. However, safer alternatives to this toxic chemical are available. Find out if you live near one of these facilities with a new map by the Center for Effective Government.

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Congress Moves Closer to DATA Act Passage

The House of Representatives is planning to vote on the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013 (DATA Act; H.R. 2061) tonight. The DATA Act, which has bipartisan support, would direct the executive branch to improve federal spending transparency.

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E-Gov Spotlight: EPA's Enforcement Database Gets Updated

On Oct. 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a beta 2.0 version of its enforcement and compliance web-based tool. The new version should make it easier for the public to find information on which facilities near their communities violate air, water, and pollution standards. The agency has requested user feedback as it continues to update and fine-tune the site, so we encourage readers to visit the website and provide comments on your experience to the agency.

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Center for Effective Government Welcomes Obama Administration's Announced Transparency Goals

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2013—Today, the Obama administration released a set of new commitments to strengthen transparency and openness in the federal government. The goals were announced in London at the summit of the global Open Government Partnership. The reform policies are intended to make public information more open and easily accessible to the American people.

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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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