New Source Review rule hinders enforcement

EPA's own Inspector General has released a report revealing that the New Source Review regulations (a regulatory rollback, discussed here, that essentially trades our clean air for the economic gain of power companies) are weakening EPA's enforcement activities: According to key enforcement officials, the NSR rule change is so dramatic that it has impacted OECA’s ongoing litigation, out-of-court settlements, and ne

read in full

Environmental enforcement declines, redux

We've mentioned before in this blog the reports from TRAC that quantify this administration's environmental enforcement record -- uneven and declining. Check out their latest report, which tracks the rates of declining enforcement with the specific environmental statutes that are decreasingly enforced; here's an excerpt: While the government's overall pollution enforcement effort is definitely down, the new data base shows that for last 12 years the government's enforcement trends have somewhat varied, depending on the particular statute under examination.

read in full

This is a job for Superfund! Or it would be...

You make a mess, you clean it up: that's the classic principle behind Superfund, which forces polluters to pay for the clean-up of their messes. Forced, that is: Today, September 30th, marks the one year anniversary of the bankruptcy of the Superfund Trust Fund. The federal Superfund toxic waste program ran out of polluter-contributed funds exactly a year ago, leaving taxpayers with the entire bill. Once the Bush administration refused to honor the polluter pays principle, they stopped holding big oil and chemical companies accountable for the messes they made.

read in full

So much for bio-terror preparedness -- or the consumer

You might think that a key component of bio-terrorism preparations would be securing the food supply, in part by letting people know where the food they're eating came from. You might think that, in an administration that seems to believe so devoutly in letting marketplace choices dictate outcomes, regulatory policy would do all that is necessary to give consumers the information they need to make real choices. Yeah, you might think that. Latest example in which you might think that but then would be wrong: country-of-origin labeling of seafood:

read in full

Graham -- let's flesh this out a bit

Just can't let this go. The Graham profile in the Seattle Times is so broad that it may not be immediately apparent the extent to which Graham has set back regulatory policy and kept the agencies from serving the public interest. Here are some of those missing details:
  • OMB Role in Fuel Economy Change Exposed
  • Administration Asks Manufacturers for Regulatory Hit List
  • GAO Finds OMB Regulatory Review Not Well Documented
  • Graham Advises Agencies on Valuing Lives of Seniors
  • OMB Waters Down Standards on Factory-Farm Runoff

read in full

Graham in the news

In case you missed it, the Seattle Times has a story today about John Graham, head of the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. It is a broad profile of Graham's work in that office. For more details on his history and the "intellectual" underpinnings of his approach to his work in this administration, be sure to check out an excellent analysis put out by Public Citizen when Graham was nominated for the job. PubCit carefully documented a history of Graham taking corporate money and -- surprise!

read in full

A record of destroying needed protections: yet more proof

The latest evidence of the Bush administration's pattern of failing the public comes from the Heritage Foundation, no less. The kind folks at Heritage have actually quantified the rollback:

read in full

New consumer agenda

Six consumer protection groups -- Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, National Association of Consumer Advocates, National Consumer Law Center, Public Citizen, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group -- have worked together to produce the Consumer Agenda, a six-point plan for increasing consumer protections and consumers' rights. From the press release:

read in full

More news on Bush environmental record

In case you missed it: Saturday's Washington Post featured an in-depth look at the Bush administration's environmental record. Check out "Oil and Gas Hold the Reins in the Wild West: Land-Use Decisions Largely Favor Energy Industry," Washington Post, Sept. 25, 2004, at A1. This article, like other comprehensive retrospective analyses in the press of the Bush administration regulatory record, is listed and linked here on our website.

read in full

Dietary guidelines and something called Data "Quality"

The other day we mentioned new, weakened dietary guidelines that seem to promote industry interests over the public interest. In case you missed it: the weakening of the dietary guidelines can be traced back to a Data Quality Act challenge filed by industry-funded think tank Center for Regulatory Effectiveness. Check out this article from the OMB Watch Information and Access team, which also links you to information you'll need if you want to share your thoughts on the guidelines (deadline 9/27). Learn more about the Data Quality Act here.

read in full

Pages

Subscribe to The Fine Print: blog posts from Center for Effective Government