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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Crandall Canyon Mine Collapse Implicates MSHA Procedures

The Aug. 6 mine collapse at the Crandall Canyon coal mine in Utah, which trapped six coal miners and led to the deaths of three rescue workers, again calls into question the effectiveness of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The mine operators were working under a plan approved by MSHA in June, just months after serious structural problems forced the operators to abandon a work area only 900 feet from where the miners are trapped.

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Coal Miners Experience Unusual Occurrences of Black Lung Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released July 6 the results of studies prompted by reports that underground coal miners are still experiencing unusual occurrences of black lung disease despite federal regulations to prevent exposure to coal dust. The "clusters of rapidly progressing and potentially disabling pneumoconiosis," or black lung disease, were found in 2005 and 2006 in some eastern Kentucky and southern Virginia miners, according to CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

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House Bills Address Mining Health and Safety Shortfalls

Two House bills introduced June 19 address health and safety issues left out of the MINER Act passed in 2006 after coal miners died in three separate accidents in Kentucky and West Virginia. The bills also include provisions that will allow the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), often criticized for slow implementation of mining laws, to better address new and existing protections.

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OSHA's Lack of Standard Setting under Fire

This year's Workers Memorial Day, April 28, included criticism of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) — the federal regulatory body charged with ensuring worker and workplace safety. On Capitol Hill and in the media, critics chided OSHA for not fulfilling its mission and falling behind in promulgating new standards to protect the American workforce.

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Miners Detail MSHA's Failings in Emotional Testimony

On March 28, the House Committee on Education and Labor heard emotional testimony from miners and miners' families about the dangerous conditions that currently exist in the coal industry, despite recent federal legislation that addresses mine safety. The main focus of the hearing was to provide a forum for the families and miners to argue for legislative and regulatory action similar to laws recently passed in West Virginia and Kentucky and to describe conditions in the mines.

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Mine Safety Concerns Remain after Sago

One of America's largest miners' unions has released a report faulting the coal industry and the federal government for the Sago mine incident of 2006. The report comes as mine safety legislation passed in the wake of the incident has yet to be fully enforced.

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Needed Health and Safety Regulations Left Idle on Agency 'To-Do' Lists

With the release of their Spring 2006 regulatory agendas on Apr. 24, federal agencies once again relegate important health and safety protections to the back burner.

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Foxes in the Henhouse: OSHA, MSHA Nominees Appear Pro-Industry, Anti-Worker

Employing an all-too-familiar strategy, the White House has put forward two industry-insiders as its nominees for the top posts at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

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Statement on Sago Mine Disaster

By Robert Shull and Gary Bass
The deadly mine disaster that took place in Sago, West Virginia represents an enormous tragedy. It is now natural to wonder not just whether the mining company provided adequate protections for workers but also whether the federal government has done enough. If recent history is any guide, those answers aren't likely to reassure the public.

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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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