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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Cost-Benefit Analysis: The Stunning Triumph of a Flawed Tool

Last Thursday, Cass Sunstein, the former administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), argued that “cost-benefit analysis has become part of the informal constitution of the U.S. regulatory state” and that this represents a “stunning triumph.”  While it’s true that cost-benefit analyses are being applied to rulemaking across an array of laws and programs, we believe that this represents the triumph of a flawed analytic tool and is not a triumph for American citizens. It is simply not appropriate to apply cost-benefit analysis to many aspects of policymaking, and the results from such analyses should not be the final determinant of the value of many proposed standards or safeguards.

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Highlighting the Benefits in Cost-Benefit Analysis

Over the past several years, the conversation about regulatory protections that safeguard the environment, worker safety, and the health and welfare of American families has focused almost exclusively on the monetary costs to affected businesses rather than on the benefits they provide to everyday citizens. Conservatives repeat false or exaggerated cost estimates and overblown anti-regulatory rhetoric. And too often, news articles fail to report on the benefits of the standards and safeguards they are criticizing, making for a very one-sided public discussion.

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Sponsors of the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act Try to Slip Bill in Under the Radar

The Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act (S. 3468), introduced on Aug. 1 by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Susan Collins (R-ME), may appear to be just another item in the string of anti-regulatory legislation considered, but not enacted, by the 112th Congress. Unfortunately, because it boasts both Democratic and Republican co-sponsors, it appears to be heading straight to mark-up within the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC).

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Updated: House Majority Trying to Shut Down Safeguards – Again

The highlight of next week's legislative calendar in the House is likely to be a vote on H.R. 4078, the misleadingly named "Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act." With this vote, the House majority is set to launch yet another attack to shut down the safeguards that protect Americans against health, safety, and economic disasters.

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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 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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Anti-Regulatory Attacks Coming in Both the House and Senate

While most Congress watchers have been focusing on the work of the Super Committee, anti-regulatory activists in both the House and the Senate have been working hard to undercut some of the most important safeguards that protect Americans.

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Analysis of the Regulatory Accountability Act: An Unjustified, Dangerous Overhaul of Federal Rulemaking Law

The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), announced by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) on Sept. 22, is a radical overhaul of the federal rulemaking process that would result in a system that allows powerful special interests to dominate. The bill would cast aside public health, worker safety, and environmental quality goals that are the basis of so many public protections and make estimated costs to businesses and the economy the most important consideration in rulemaking.

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A Dangerous, Misguided Regulatory Attack

Today, Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Susan Collins (R-ME), and Reps. Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Lamar Smith (R-TX) announced their intention to propose a major revision of the Administrative Procedure Act – the basic legal framework that defines how federal rules are made – that would prevent or delay by years important health, safety, and environmental standards. It's hard to imagine a more damaging attack on the federal government's responsibility to protect the public from a wide range of threats.

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Scientists and Economists Agree – Health and Safety Regulations Are Good for Our Health and Good for the Economy

Health and safety advocates have argued for decades that investments in clean energy and environmental protections help to create jobs. Time and time again, reports have shown that supporting clean energy fosters the development of new, job-creating industries, and that compliance with environmental health and safety standards encourages companies to hire new workers and invest in local economies. A host of new studies published in the past week provide even more support for those claims.

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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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