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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New Web Tool Provides Easy Tracking of Rulemaking Comments

A new online tool allows users to better follow the rulemaking process and monitor the public comments agencies receive on proposed rules. Docket Wrench, launched by the Sunlight Foundation, provides access to more than 3.5 million regulatory documents. The tool is intended to help the public follow the influence of special interests in the rulemaking process by tracking and grouping their comments.

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Two New Reports Reveal How the Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration Has Worked to Block Public Safeguards

Last Tuesday, the Center for Effective Government and the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) released separate reports on the activities of a little-known, but powerful, office within the Small Business Administration—the Office of Advocacy. The reports uncovered how the Office of Advocacy actively works to delay and block public safeguards and the release of important information that has serious implications for Americans' health and well-being.

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Small Businesses, Public Health, and Scientific Integrity

This report examines the activities of an independent office within the Small Business Administration: the Office of Advocacy. The Office of Advocacy has responsibility for ensuring that federal agencies evaluate the small business impacts of the rules they adopt. Scientific assessments are not “rules” and do not regulate small business, yet the Office of Advocacy decided to comment on technical, scientific assessments of the cancer risks of formaldehyde, styrene, and chromium. By its own admission, Advocacy lacks the scientific expertise to evaluate the merits of such assessments.

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Federal Appeals Court Behavior Creates Gridlock

Steve Pearlstein’s latest column, published in The Washington Post earlier this week, exposed the aggressive, anti-regulatory decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. These decisions are driven by industry arguments designed to create policymaking gridlock.

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Sponsors of the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act Try to Slip Bill in Under the Radar

The Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act (S. 3468), introduced on Aug. 1 by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Susan Collins (R-ME), may appear to be just another item in the string of anti-regulatory legislation considered, but not enacted, by the 112th Congress. Unfortunately, because it boasts both Democratic and Republican co-sponsors, it appears to be heading straight to mark-up within the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC).

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How Many More Food Recalls Will It Take to End Delay on New Food Safety Rules?

On Aug. 22, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that cantaloupes from Chamberlain Farms in Indiana are being recalled because of Salmonella contamination, which has infected 178 people in 21 states, causing 62 hospitalizations and 2 deaths.

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Where Have All the New Rules Gone?

An editorial published in The New York Times over the weekend describes the trend – a matter of serious concern in the public interest community – of public protections being put on hold, due in large part to industry interference.

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Vote Imminent on House Bill that Would Shut Down Safeguards

The House will vote later this week on the misleadingly titled "Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act." The bill is a brazen attempt to shut down the system of public safeguards that protects our air, water, food, consumer products, and economy and would do nothing to create jobs.

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EPA Drops Rule to Require Basic Information on Agricultural Sources of Water Pollution

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it was withdrawing a proposed rule that would have required Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) to report basic information to the agency. CAFOs are livestock facilities or farms that confine large numbers of animals and do not grow crops on the land. The concentrated waste from these operations can contaminate groundwater supplies as it sinks into the earth. The rule in question would have required CAFO owners to provide information on operations that could result in water pollution. By dropping the rule, EPA appears to have succumbed to pressure from the agricultural community to limit transparency and citizens' rights to a healthy water supply.

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Why "Obamacare" Supporters Need to Care about the Health of the Regulatory System

By now, you’ve almost certainly heard about the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in “the health care case” (National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius).  In short, the majority ruled that the mandate is a legitimate exercise of Congress’s power to tax and that financial incentives can be used to encourage states to expand Medicaid eligibility.

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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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