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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Standards and Safeguards in 2013

Agencies rolled out few health, safety, or environmental standards in the first quarter of 2013, despite hopes that President Obama would commit more attention to agencies' regulatory agendas after winning reelection. But in the spring, the gears began to move as the administration focused on implementing crucial public protections and the new director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Howard Shelanski, made good on his promise to cut the backlog of rules waiting for review at OIRA. With the gridlock on legislation in Congress, many are looking for the administration to be more active in moving rules and action through the executive branch.

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Shining a Light on Office of Management and Budget Rule Review Abuse

While anecdotes about the manipulation of the federal regulatory review process by the White House Office of Management and Budget have circulated for years, a recent Washington Post article on the delay of potentially controversial rules by the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) prior to the 2012 elections is truly shocking.

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Coal Ash Waste Standards Inch Forward, But Industry Opposition Strong

This December will mark the fifth anniversary of a massive spill of coal ash in Tennessee that destroyed three houses and damaged more than 40 others. This event sparked intensified calls for the regulation of coal ash, a waste by-product produced when coal is burned. Federal efforts to deal with the problem of coal ash have progressed slowly, but agency action on the issue may be gaining momentum in light of recent policy developments. Meanwhile, coal industry proponents in Congress are revamping legislative efforts to thwart national protections against coal waste.

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ALEC’s Latest Trojan Horse: The Attack on Standards and Safeguards Moves to the States

In recent years, special interests and their allies in Congress have pushed a number of dangerous proposals to "reform" the rulemaking process to undermine the standards and safeguards that guarantee clean air and water, safe workplaces, healthy food, and safe medicines. Now, these same special interests are pushing similar proposals in the states. Many of these so-called "reforms" expand or institutionalize requirements that delay and weaken important regulations and increase the already outsized influence of corporations in setting environmental, food, consumer, and worker safety policies.

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ALEC Takes Attacks on Health, Safety Standards to the States

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2013—A study released today by the Center for Effective Government calls on states to reject a push by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and others to undermine public standards and safeguards set at the state level.

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American Workers Can't Report Health, Safety Violations on the Job Without Fear of Retaliation

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2013—A study released today by the Center for Effective Government calls for better protections for workers who report health and safety hazards on the job.

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Clarity on Clean Water Protection Is Coming, But How Long Will it Take?

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced they were moving forward with a much-needed rulemaking to clarify which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Enforcement of the law has been hindered by years of uncertainty about agencies' regulatory jurisdiction over certain wetlands and waterways. On Sept. 17, agencies submitted a draft joint rulemaking for interagency review that would provide greater clarity and help ensure vital waters are covered by the CWA. However, protracted review processes and industry pushback could further extend the uncertainty and leave some waters unprotected.

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Government Shutdown Would Compromise Worker and Public Health

As we creep ever closer to the prospect of a federal government shutdown due to the efforts by some conservative members of Congress to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and attack implementation of our nation’s public health laws, it’s important to understand how a shutdown will impact the health and safety of workers and the public’s health.

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Growing Use of Third Parties to Certify Health and Safety Compliance Raises Troubling Questions

In May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed two rules to protect the public from the risks of formaldehyde exposure. The first rule sets emissions standards for formaldehyde in composite wood products; the second establishes requirements for third-party certifications of products subject to those emissions limits. The use of third-party programs to assess regulatory compliance is growing as agencies try to stretch scarce resources, raising troubling questions about enforcement of important standards and safeguards.

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House Attack on Major Health Standards Likely Linked to Debt Ceiling Negotiations

With a contentious political fight brewing in Congress over the debt ceiling, Republican members of the House have indicated they are considering several “riders,” or supplemental legislative language, that would significantly limit the government’s ability to set standards that are essential for protecting public health and welfare.

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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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