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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Toxic Chemical Plagues Cleanup Crews Five Years after BP Oil Spill Disaster

Five years ago, an offshore oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and causing the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The BP oil spill fouled the Gulf with over 172 million gallons of crude oil. The aftermath of the spill is still visible on certain coastlines, and a toxic chemical that BP used to "clean up" the oil is still injuring people and wildlife in the region.

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BP "Grossly Negligent" in 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

On Sept. 4, a federal district court in Louisiana ruled that BP’s “gross negligence” and “willful misconduct” resulted in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion that killed 11 workers and resulted in millions of barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. The finding could subject BP to roughly $18 billion in civil penalties under the Clean Water Act, or up to $4,300 for each barrel of oil that spilled into the Gulf.

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Should Victims of the BP Oil Spill Be Unsettled by Recent Settlement Agreement?

April will mark the two-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster that killed eleven people, injured seventeen others, and released an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. On March 16, the Senate passed a widely supported measure that would section off 80 percent of the fines BP has paid and direct those funds to the five Gulf states impacted by the spill.

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NOAA Takes Lead on Protecting Scientific Integrity

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) efforts to protect scientific integrity make the agency a leader among its federal counterparts, OMB Watch said in comments filed last week.

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House Gets Amnesia, Passes Bill to Rush Oil Drilling

The House of Representatives today passed a bill that sets ridiculous and dangerous deadlines for the approval of oil drilling permits. According to Earthjustice, “Sponsored by Doc Hastings (R-WA), H.R. 1229 requires the Department of Interior to decide whether to approve a drilling permit within 30 days after receiving an application and allows only two 15-day extensions of this deadline.”

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Issa Feigns Sympathy for Oil Spill’s Victims

Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is using the one-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster as an opportunity to criticize the Obama administration for exercising more caution when issuing offshore drilling permits. After the spill, “the Administration’s subsequent assault on off-shore drilling has [damaged] economically vulnerable communities,” Issa says.

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Offshore Drilling Poised to Expand, but Transparency Still Lags

As the Obama administration increases approvals of deepwater oil drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico, environmental advocates have seen little meaningful increase in the transparency of the permitting process. A lack of transparency in the regulatory process was identified as a contributing factor in BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster and the highly criticized response effort.

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House Budget: More Exemptions and Lower Payments for Big Oil

In the latest issue of The Watcher, OMB Watch discusses (here and here) the recently passed House budget and the many non-budget provisions attached to it, including the anti-environmental riders that prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies from doing this or that.

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Obama Continues Post-Spill Reforms to Better Police Drilling

The Obama administration continued revamping offshore oil drilling regulation by recently announcing the next step in its plans to reorganize the Department of the Interior – creating a new agency to oversee drilling safety.

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Commentary: Did OMB Block Worst-Case Estimates of Oil Spill?

A working paper by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling has ignited a controversy about the role of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in controlling information about the spill. The working paper alleges that, soon after the April 20 explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon rig, OMB blocked plans to disclose the government's worst-case models of the spill. The administration's response to the allegations leaves several key questions without clear answers, which can only be resolved by disclosing the drafts and feedback through which these critical documents were developed.

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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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