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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Supreme Court Strikes Down Montana Anti-Corruption Law as Corporate Cash Continues to Flood Elections

In its 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law that had banned corporations from running ads supporting or opposing candidates for the House, Senate, and the presidency. The decision opened the floodgates for wealthy donors and corporations to establish super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited funds from any source. Today, the Supreme Court had an opportunity to learn from this mistake and correct its error.

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Farming Out the Story on EPA Regulations

The "Farm Bill" (S. 3240, formally titled the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012) is fast becoming a magnet for a batch of anti-regulatory amendments. This is just the latest in a series of attempts to tack on damaging, unrelated provisions to legislation moving through the chamber.

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The Chamber’s Phony Debate about Regulation

In case you missed it: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other Big Business critics of regulation assert that there has been a “regulatory tsunami” during the past few years. A recent editorial by The New York Times exposed this false claim and showed that many important rules remain stuck in the pipeline.

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International Regulatory Cooperation: Will Harmonization Protect the Public or Prioritize Corporate Profits?

A May 1 Executive Order on international regulatory cooperation has raised questions about how regulatory agencies set their priorities. Regulatory cooperation is neither a particularly new idea, nor an inherently bad one – but if not handled carefully, it could undercut the public protections on which Americans depend.

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Maybe It's Time for a Moratorium on Bad Ideas in the House of Representatives

Imagine for a moment that you're in the last few weeks of your current job.  Your final goal is to complete an important, long-term project that you've been working on for several years.  Finishing this project will be a major milestone and will benefit people both inside and outside your organization.  Suddenly, your employer makes a new policy: people aren't allowed to complete projects during their last few weeks with the organization.  You'd probably be confused, even furious, and rightfully so, because all of your hard work would have been for nothing.  A policy like that just wouldn't make sense, yet it's similar to what the House wants to do to those who have been working to develop and improve our nation's public protections. 

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On Workers' Memorial Day, Let's Remember that Regulatory Delay Can Be Deadly

 At long last, a committee on Capitol Hill held a hearing to showcase how important health and safety standards are in protecting the lives of all Americans. On April 19, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chair of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, convened the hearing to highlight the devastating impact of regulatory delay on the lives of workers and their families. Driving the point home, relatives of workers who died on the job packed the hearing room, holding pictures of their late loved ones for all to see.

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Take Action to Shine a Light on Public Officials' Financial Dealings

Last week, President Obama signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act — a historic piece of open government legislation. OMB Watch staff were there to see it happen and were pleased to witness an important transparency policy becoming law. In moments like this, we realize that our hard work and dedication are paying off!

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Federal Government Increases Online Access to Conflict-of-Interest Data

On March 22, the U.S. Senate passed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, which will put thousands of disclosures from congressional and executive branch officials online for the first time. President Obama will sign the legislation into law on April 4. Many state governments already provide some online access to similar disclosures, and others, such as Maryland, are considering following suit.

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Doing Little, Changing Everything: EPA's Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants

Nearly five years after the U.S. Supreme Court directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine whether carbon dioxide should be regulated as a "pollutant" under the Clean Air Act, the agency finally issued a proposed standard for carbon emissions from newly constructed power plants.

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The Regulatory Freeze Act: Legislation to Make the World More Dangerous and the Economy Weaker

The so-called Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act, reported out of the House Judiciary Committee earlier today, is the clearest example yet of just how broken the national debate on public protections has become. This bill is ostensibly about getting Americans back to work, but the bill contains no provisions to address unemployment. Instead, it would gut the system of public protections that underpins our entire economy.

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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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