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...

read in full
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...

read in full
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...

read in full
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...

read in full
more news

Congress Continues Efforts to Thwart Climate Change Emissions Limits

On Sept. 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a new proposal to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new coal-fired power plants. The Center for Effective Government applauded the steady progress on the rule but warned of likely challenges from climate-change deniers, regulatory opponents, and their allies in Congress. Over the past month, these challenges have appeared in the form of draft legislation and appropriations riders that seek to repeal or severely limit EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fueled power plants under the Clean Air Act.

read in full

State Toxic Chemical Regulations at Risk in Upcoming Trade Negotiations

On Oct. 7, the United States and European Union will resume negotiations that began earlier this year over the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA).  Since tariffs and quotas between the U.S. and EU are already quite low, the negotiations will focus primarily on reducing “non-tariff barriers” (such as differences in standards and regulations) to expand trade across the Atlantic.

read in full

Tax Reform Should Not Happen Behind Closed Doors

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) pledged to their colleagues in the Senate earlier this month that their tax reform proposals—namely on tax breaks and loopholes, both of great concern to corporate interests—would be kept secret for 50 years. In contrast, presidential records become accessible to the public after 12 years with certain exceptions.

read in full

Court Rejects Industry Challenge to Styrene Listing in the Report on Carcinogens

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently rejected industry challenges to an agency's decision to list the chemical styrene in the Twelfth Report on Carcinogens as "reasonably anticipated" to be a cancer-causing agent. A major styrene trade association and a manufacturer of the substance had sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for including styrene in the report.

read in full

Legislation Would Delay Important Safeguards and Limit Citizens' Access to Courts

Earlier this month, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced companion legislation in the House and Senate, entitled the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act (S. 714 and H.R. 1493). Disguised as an effort to increase transparency, this legislation aims to bog down the regulatory process with time-consuming and costly procedural hurdles that would limit the lawsuits brought to challenge unreasonable delays by regulatory agencies.

read in full

Open Government Advocates Disappointed by Rollback of STOCK Act Requirements for Online Access

Just a year after enacting it, Congress and the president rolled back a key transparency provision of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act) instead of amending it to address concerns.

read in full

The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy Exaggerates Its Influence

The Office of Advocacy, an independent office within the Small Business Administration (SBA), recently released its annual report to Congress on agency compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) during fiscal year (FY) 2012. In the report, the office makes dubious claims that its efforts to delay or stop six agency rules saved billions for small businesses in the last fiscal year.

read in full

Anti-Regulatory Forces Target Agency Science to Undermine Health and Safety Standards

As committees of the 113th Congress begin to implement their agendas, it is increasingly apparent that environmental and health standards, and the science serving as the basis for these protections, will remain a favorite target of anti-regulatory legislators. Last session's industry-supported proposals to change scientific assessment programs would undermine environmental, health, and safety standards, yet they are likely to reappear. Meanwhile, new investigations underscore that these measures ignore the real impediments to improving the credibility and usefulness of agency science and risk assessments.

read in full

Disclosure at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: Written Comments and Telephone Records Suspiciously Absent

In 1981, President Reagan signed an executive order charging the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) with reviewing all economically significant rules and rejecting those that did not pass a strict cost-benefit test. Supporters of environmental, consumer, and worker protection standards have long criticized the office for failing to make its analyses public. Moreover, the office has a reputation for meeting with industry interests behind closed doors and for engaging in intrusive back-and-forth exchanges with agencies over proposed rules. This often results in the office delaying, watering down, or blocking new standards and safeguards.

read in full

More American Workers Will Die as Silica Rule Delayed

Silica has long been known to cause silicosis, a progressive, irreversible, but preventable lung disease that kills people. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported that in 2007, 120 workers died from silicosis; 180-360 new cases of the disease are reported each year. Recent evidence shows that silica exposure also causes lung cancer. OSHA estimates that a lower allowable limit on silica in the workplace would prevent 60 deaths each year.

read in full


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...

read in full

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...

read in full
more resources