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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Obama Administration Weighing Rules to Keep or Repeal

On May 18, the Obama administration is expected to take the next step in its process for reviewing federal regulations. Agencies and the White House sit at an important crossroads: will they defend existing regulatory safeguards or weaken rules in an attempt to appease special interests?

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White House Announces Next Steps on Regulatory Review

White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator Cass Sunstein issued a memo April 25 instructing agencies to make public their preliminary plans for reviewing existing rules and to finalize those plans by August.

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Labor Department Takes Comments on Regulatory Review

The Department of Labor announced March 16 that it will accept public comments on its plan to review existing regulations and their impact. Labor, like all agencies, is conducting the review in accordance with an executive order President Obama signed Jan. 18.

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Obama Issues Memo on Federal-State Relationship; Intent Unclear

Last week, President Obama quietly issued a memo titled, “Administrative Flexibility, Lower Costs, and Better Results for State, Local, and Tribal Governments.” The memo directs the Office of Management and Budget to work with state and local entities to identify “unnecessary administrative, regulatory, and legislative burdens” in order to achieve “better outcomes at lower cost.”

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Reforming the Rulemaking Process Requires More than New Technology

The three ideas for reforming participation in the rulemaking process in Beth’s Noveck's blog post, "Turning Rule Writers Into Problem Solvers: Creating a 21st Century Government That's Open and Competent by Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review," may or may not be useful. They certainly can and should be tested empirically. But the focus on these participation issues must be complemented by reform of the rulemaking process itself.

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Will State of the Union Mark Tonal Shift for Obama on Regulation?

What a difference a week makes. Last Tuesday, Jan. 18, President Obama took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal to complain about federal regulation, adopting the conservative mantra that regulation is largely a nuisance and can impair job growth. Last night, in his Jan. 25 State of the Union address, Obama took a decidedly different tone. He began by implying that regulations are nothing but a hindrance to businesses. But just as quickly as my blood began to boil, it came down to a simmer. Obama followed by recommitting himself to the importance of public protections, citing consumer, labor, and environmental regulations as critical governmental contributions to society.

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Obama's Regulatory Reforms Protect the Status Quo

On Jan. 18, President Obama issued a long-awaited executive order on the regulatory process and two related presidential memoranda. The order and the memos are aimed at reaffirming the existing regulatory process rather than significantly reforming it. The most impactful of the three documents is likely to be the memo on regulatory compliance, which stems from the administration's commitment to greater government accountability.

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How Will Deregulation Create U.S. Jobs, Mr. President?

Yesterday, President Obama signed an executive order instructing agencies in his administration to ferret out environmental, health, and safety regulations that need to be repealed or modified in the name of economic growth.

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OMB Watch Comments on Obama Regulatory Reform Package

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2011—The Obama administration today released three documents aimed at reforming some aspects of the regulatory process. Two of the actions, an executive order and a memorandum on small businesses and job creation, reaffirm existing approaches that have been in place for decades. Another memorandum seeks greater government accountability by directing agencies to disclose more regulatory compliance information. OMB Watch believes that while the reform package ushers in some positive policy measures, it also contains some problematic language and reinforces false notions regarding job creation and strong public protections.

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Rules to Watch for in 2011

Federal agencies have released their rulemaking agendas for 2011, providing the public with a roadmap of the health, safety, and environmental safeguards it can anticipate in the new year.

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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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