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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More Health and Safety Impacts of the Government Shutdown

I blogged last week before the federal government shutdown started about potential health and safety ramifications that could result should the shutdown occur. Now that the shutdown is a reality, it’s important to consider some of the health and safety concerns that may be less than obvious.

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GAO Confirms Public Interest Group Criticisms of Controversial Poultry Inspection Rule

A report released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reinforces health and safety advocates' concerns about proposed changes to poultry inspection procedures. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a controversial proposed rule to shift responsibility for inspections away from agency inspectors to employees of the slaughter and processing plants. Despite calls to address serious food and worker safety concerns, the agency plans to finalize the rule this year. GAO's new report identifies limitations in the data used to justify the rule and casts further doubt on USDA's decision to advance a fatally flawed proposal.

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A Misleading Report Obscures Sequestration's Impact on Regulators' Budgets

Last month, university-based researchers Susan Dudley and Melinda Warren released a highly misleading report claiming sequestration has not had much impact on the overall budgets of federal regulatory agencies.

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5th Anniversary of Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act: Five Safety Breakthroughs in Five Years

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2013— Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Kids In Danger (KID), Consumers Union (CU), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), U.S. PIRG, Public Citizen, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Center for Effective Government mark the fifth anniversary of the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

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New Gluten-Free Standards Highlight Triumphs and Challenges at the FDA

Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released final standards that manufacturers must meet before labeling their food products “gluten free.” According to the new rules, a food product must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten before a producer can label and advertise the product as being without gluten.

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Senate Subcommittee Hearing to Examine Costs of Regulatory Delay

Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights, and Agency Action will hold its first hearing on regulatory policy. The hearing, titled "Justice Delayed: The Human Cost of Regulatory Paralysis," will examine the important benefits of public protections and the very real costs of regulatory delay.

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Five Fundamental Facts about Standards and Public Protections

Judd Gregg, a former Republican senator from New Hampshire and current CEO of the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), recently wrote an opinion piece for The Hill attacking new environmental and public health standards and financial protections.

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Why Non-Defense Discretionary Spending Keeps Getting Cut

The biggest difference among the three budget plans that official Washington is currently considering is spending for non-defense discretionary programs, which includes education, infrastructure, food safety, environmental protection and other essential public investments the public says it wants government to continue to make. A chart created by the Congressional Budget Office – shows the differences between President Obama and Senate Democrats’ budget plans versus the House Republican spending blueprint.

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Court Says FDA Failed to Comply with Food Safety Rule Deadlines

This week, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California concluded that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by failing to comply with specific deadlines for food safety rules, which were set out in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). For a number of major food safety regulation areas, FDA failed to meet the dates set for completion. Although some of the rules were proposed in January, many remain under review at FDA or the White House.

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OMB, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hold Forum on Trade Agreements and Regulations

On April 10, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) co-hosted a two-day stakeholder session with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as part of its annual High Level Regulatory Cooperation Forum. The forum provides an opportunity for members of the business community to tell American and European officials how they would like the standards and safeguards that regulate their activities to be "harmonized." For the business community, "harmonization" is generally viewed as an opportunity to move to the lowest standards, or in the language of free trade, to remove or reduce "trade irritants." The exchange at the forum was between business and government; few public interest representatives were allowed to participate.

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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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