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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Local Officials Standing Up to Protect Their Communities from Fracking

 Local officials from more than 200 municipalities in 15 states, including city councils, town boards, and county legislatures, have banned natural gas drilling that uses hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking. These officials have decided that fracking poses an unacceptable risk to the drinking water, health, and future of their communities. However, state governments and corporations have started legally challenging these efforts, a move that would strip the power of democratically elected local governments to establish quality-of-life protections their constituencies want.

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Fracking Disclosure Policies Fail to Protect Public Health and Safety

State oversight laws requiring disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing (commonly referred to as fracking) are in need of an overhaul. A new OMB Watch report, The Right to Know, the Responsibility to Protect: State Actions Are Inadequate to Ensure Effective Disclosure of the Chemicals Used in Natural Gas Fracking, examines state chemical disclosure rules and aims to empower the public. It also encourages state and local authorities to improve their chemical disclosure standards, especially in those regions of the country most involved in and affected by natural gas fracking.

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The Right to Know, the Responsibility to Protect: State Actions Are Inadequate to Ensure Effective Disclosure of the Chemicals Used in Natural Gas Fracking

The Right to Know, the Responsibility to Protect examines the actions being taken or considered by state governments to ensure that the public can track the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing (also known as natural gas fracking). By examining current state disclosure laws, identifying the gap between effective disclosure policy and existing practice, and reviewing the most recent evidence on the health risks of exposure to the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, we hope this report will encourage state and local authorities to improve their chemical disclosure standards.

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Partial Reform of Water Quality Reports Fails in Senate

An effort to partially reform public water quality reports failed in the Senate late last month. The proposed amendment to the Farm Bill, offered by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), would have allowed Consumer Confidence Reports to be available online instead of through the mail, but it would not have made the complex reports any easier to understand.

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Dispatch from Rio+20: The Future We Want?

In the lead up to Rio+20, the three-day international environmental conference being held this week in Rio de Janeiro, many doubted that government officials would finalize an outcome document on how to embrace sustainable development in the next decade. However, after intense talks, negotiators finalized a document and presented it to high-level officials on June 20. The outcome document, titled “The Future We Want,” focuses on market growth and offers few advances in protecting the planet and its people in the process.

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Improving the Public's Right to Know at Rio+20

Today marks the official opening of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, and representatives from government, public interest, industry, and intergovernmental organizations have gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to address the environmental challenges facing our planet. Rio+20, as the international conference is being called, is an opportunity to take stock of progress that has occurred over the past two decades and the challenge of sustainable development that we face. It also represents an opportunity to advocate for more citizen involvement in environmental policymaking.

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Momentum Builds for Legislation to Curb Use of Toxic Flame Retardants

Lawmakers are calling for legislation to protect children from toxic flame retardant chemicals embedded in a host of everyday consumer products. The substances have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and other serious illnesses. Since these chemicals are widely used in furniture, clothes, and carpets, practically every home in the country could be affected.

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America Would Know Less Under House Census Policy

Since 1790, Americans have used the Census as a tool to understand who we are and where we stand as a nation. However, our ability to gather this crucial data would be crippled under a bill recently passed by the House.

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Controversy Mounts over EPA’s Release of Draft Report on Fracking

On May 3, the Associated Press reported that the governor of Wyoming pressured the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to delay the release of a draft study linking a controversial natural gas extraction process, commonly referred to as fracking, to the contamination of drinking water. Wyoming officials apparently used the delay to coordinate efforts with the oil and gas industries to attack the report’s findings.

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Secret Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement Could Undermine U.S. Health and Safety Standards

On May 8, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional trade agreement between the United States and Asia-Pacific countries, kicked off a new round of negotiations. These talks will be held in secret with the text of the trade agreement hidden from 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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