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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At Agencies, Open Government and E-Rulemaking Go Hand in Hand

Several agencies are highlighting their rulemaking activities as part of the Obama administration's push to improve government transparency and public participation. The Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of Labor (DOL) all recognized the importance of regulation by including rulemaking and regulatory innovations in their Open Government Plans.

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More Than 200 Groups Press Obama on Coal Ash Regulation

Yesterday, 239 public interest and environmental groups (that’s two full pages of organization names…single spaced!) including OMB Watch wrote to President Obama to ask him to move forward with plans to regulate coal ash. A draft proposed rule, developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, has been under review at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) since Oct. 16, 2009.

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Obama Calls for Review of Mine Safety Policy

In reaction to the West Virginia explosion that left 29 miners dead, President Obama called today for reform of mine safety laws and regulations and better enforcement of those regulations by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). His remarks are available on the White House website.

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Coal Ash Communities Call on the White House for Protection

Residents of communities impacted by toxic coal ash met with the White House yesterday to argue for new regulations aimed at protecting public health and the environment. 

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White House Tries to Ease Tracking of Rules

In an effort to increase transparency and expand public participation in the rulemaking process, White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator Cass Sunstein issued a memo today encouraging agencies to consistently use Regulation Identifier Numbers, or RINs, to tag documents.

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New Vehicle Standards Take Aim at Climate-Altering Emissions

The Obama administration recently announced new standards that will improve fuel efficiency in new vehicles starting in 2012. The standards mark the first time in U.S. history that the federal government has crafted regulations aimed specifically at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and stemming the impact of global climate change.

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White House Sidelines the Public in Coal Ash Debate

On Dec. 22, 2008, an earthen dam holding back a pond of coal ash in Kingston, Tenn., broke, sending 5.4 million cubic yards of toxic goo cascading across the landscape. That's enough to fill the White House from top to bottom 200 times over.

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Coal Ash Delay Silences the Voice of the Little Guy

A citizen advocacy group is asking the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to take a closer look at the environmental and human health impacts of coal ash – a toxic byproduct of coal combustion often precariously stored in outdoor retention ponds. The request was placed on day 153 of OIRA’s review of an EPA proposal to more strictly regulate coal ash. By its own rules, OIRA is to spend no more than 120 days reviewing agency proposed and final regulations.

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EPA to Put Environmental Justice on the Cost-Benefit Ledger

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) needs to better account for environmental justice when analyzing the costs and benefits of proposed regulations, experts said yesterday at an EPA symposium. BNA news service (subscription) reports:

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White House Increasing Pressure over Invalid Rules

Federal rulemaking agencies continue to fail to submit new regulations to Congress, potentially invalidating them, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

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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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