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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Safeguarding the Public's Health and Safety: The President's FY 2013 Public Protections Funding Requests

When public agencies are effective and responsive, the protections they afford to the American people are largely invisible. Americans have largely forgotten the “bad old days” before there were meat inspectors, toy inspectors, workplace safety standards, clean air and water standards, and laws against the release of toxic chemical waste. In a new analysis released Feb. 17, we examine the “public protections budget” – a diverse set of federal programs in agencies whose mission is to protect the health and welfare of the American public.

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Third-Party Audits Aren't a Panacea for Increasing Safety

The third-party audit system, in which private companies take over responsibility for inspecting worksites and production facilities, has been shown to expose Americans to significant health and safety risks while eating, working, and breathing.

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Grade Inflation Really Matters If It Means You Catch Listeria

Today, government officials, academics, and the cantaloupe industry are meeting at the University of California, Davis, to try to determine how the 2011 Listeria outbreak could have begun at a facility that had just received a "superior" rating from a third-party food safety auditor.   A report issued earlier this week places the blame squarely on the third-party audit system, which allows private companies hired by food producers themselves to perform food safety inspections.  

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Secrecy Still Protects Genetically Modified Foods from Disclosure

The use of genetically engineered (GE) crops has increased enormously over the last decade, without a corresponding increase in government oversight. Industry has fought hard against strict oversight and testing and has even blocked efforts to label GE food products as such, leaving U.S. consumers in the dark about how their food is produced and what it contains. As consumers have become increasingly concerned about food safety and health, demands for federal and state food labeling legislation have intensified.

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House Attack on Public Protections Continues with Passage of the REINS Act

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2011—The House today passed the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), represents an extreme attack on safeguards that protect our environment, food, children's toys, workplaces, health, civil rights, and economy.

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House Passes Regulatory Accountability Act in Attempt to Make It More Difficult to Protect the Public

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2011—Today, the House passed the so-called Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), which was sponsored by Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN). The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama, would make it far more difficult to protect the public from environmental, health, safety, and economic hazards.

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Regulatory Accountability Act Threatens Essential Public Protections

For the past six decades, our nation's system of public protections has developed safeguards that protect us from health and safety threats. Now, however, the misleadingly titled Regulatory Accountability Act could turn this system on its head, allowing more special interest influence and inviting endless rounds of litigation.

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Congressional Budget Office Says Deregulation Will Not Create Jobs

On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report that concludes that deregulation will not create jobs. The report is the latest piece of evidence that the ongoing congressional attacks on public protections are misguided, at best.

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Regulatory Accountability Act Would Undermine Crucial Protections for the American People

Eliminating lead in children's toys. Requiring seatbelts in automobiles. Reducing coal dust in mines. Preventing unsafe drugs and foods from entering the marketplace. Outlawing predatory loan rates and lending practices. If the bill deliberately mislabeled the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) had been put in place in 1960, none of these protections for the American people could have been developed.

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Updated: Possible Senate Shenanigans on the REINS Act

There are rumblings that as soon as today, the Senate GOP may begin to offer up the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (S. 299) as an amendment to, or a substitute for, bills moving to the Senate floor for a vote. Such a move would limit the public's ability to have a say on this damaging legislation.

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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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