RegsTalk: The CSS Blog

Most blogs are authored by CSS affiliated policy experts and have been reprinted with permission. If you would like us to share your blog entry with our readers, please email David Rosen at drosen@citizen.org. To find older blogs, please use our site’s search engine.

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An Administration Defined by Its Conflicts (and What That Means for Science and Policy)

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists The first six months of President Trump’s time in office have consisted of a whirlwind of questionable governing decisions. From the outset, the Center for Science and Democracy established a baseline of the types of protections for...
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How the CFPB Stops the Growth of the Racial Wealth Gap

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By Amy Traub, Demos This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turns 6 years old. In an op-ed on Univision.com, my colleague Vijay Das and I consider the vital ways the agency stands up for the interests of American consumers, even as its independence and...
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EPA Chemical Safety Nominee Aided DuPont in Teflon Scandal

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By Bill Walker, Environmental Working Group Michael Dourson, President Trump’s expected nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety office, has made a career of helping industry stave off or weaken regulations on toxic chemicals. Particularly disturbing...
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The Trump Administration’s Record on Science Six Months After Inauguration

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By Jacob Carter, Union of Concerned Scientists To address unsolved questions, scientists develop experiments, collect data and then look for patterns. Our predictions of natural phenomena become more powerful over time as evidence builds within the scientific community that the...
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OSHA to Expand Voluntary Protection Programs Without Assessing Benefits to Workers

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By Katie Tracy, Center for Progressive Reform On Monday, July 17, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) convened a public meeting to hear input from stakeholders about how the agency might grow and strengthen its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). Given the...
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Environmental Injustice in the Early Days of the Trump Administration

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By Britt Paris and Rebecca Lave, Union of Concerned Scientists When the EPA was established in 1970 by Richard Nixon, there was no mandate to examine why toxic landfills were more often placed near low-income, Black, Latino, immigrant, and Native American communities than in more...
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Auto Industry Attacks Clean Car and Fuel Economy Standards

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By Luke Tonachel, Natural Resources Defense Council There they go again. Automakers are once more on the attack, attempting to weaken the clean car and fuel economy standards that are protecting our health, planet and pocketbooks, that they agreed to just five years ago. If...
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It Makes No Sense to Eliminate Successful CFPB, Weaken Wall Street Reforms

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By Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG Wall Street reform turns 7 years old and its precocious centerpiece Consumer Financial Protection Bureau turns 6 tomorrow Friday, July 21. Established after the 2007-2008 economic collapse to help prevent another crisis by making consumer markets...
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11 Ways Corporate America Benefits From Trump

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By Alan Zibel, Public Citizen Given the scandal-plagued Trump administration’s failure to advance its priorities in Congress, it is tempting to conclude that Donald Trump is not accomplishing anything of significance. In fact, he is delivering giveaway after giveaway to industry....
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Trump Touts Plan to Wipe Out Health and Safety Regulations

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By the Natural Resources Defense Council The Trump administration has released a list of hundreds of federal rules it plans to weaken or eliminate. Presented under the guise of helping businesses, Trump’s ill-conceived plan helps polluters and harms Americans. “Make no mistake....
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What’s Behind Attacks on the Endangered Species Act? Lots of Industry Money

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By Rebecca Bowe, Earthjustice A small yet vocal group of congressmen are gearing up this summer to dismantle the Endangered Species Act. Campaign finance records of these lawmakers reveal that they have all taken significant money from extractive industries frustrated by t...
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Benefits Lost: The Blueprint for the Trump Administration’s Assault on Our Safeguards

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By James Goodwin, Center for Progressive Reform Early this morning, the Trump administration released its Spring 2017 Regulatory Agenda, which outlines the regulatory and deregulatory actions the administration expects to take over the next 12 months. Because it is the first of...
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Court Allows EPA to Continue Delaying Toxic Pesticide Ban

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By the National Resources Defense Council In late March, after U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt reversed an Obama-era recommendation to ban chlorpyrifos—a widely used, highly toxic pesticide found by the EPA itself to cause learning disabilities and...
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New Analysis Exposes the Trump Administration’s Rulemaking Delays

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By Rena Steinzor and Elise Desiderio, Center for Progressive Reform Early in the Trump administration, news about delayed and “disappeared” rules emerged in several media outlets. Many of these delays were driven by a memo issued by Trump White House Chief of Staff...
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The Wall Street Journal Gets It Wrong on EPA Scientific Integrity…Again

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists The Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece yesterday titled “A Step Toward Scientific Integrity at the EPA” written by long-time critic of the EPA and purveyor of anti-science nonsense, Steven Milloy. His piece commends Administrator...
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Telco, Cable Guys Assault State Broadband Privacy Efforts, Sacramento Key Battleground

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By Ed Mierzwinksi, U.S. PIRG After the new FCC chair Ajit Pai and Congress, through a Congressional Review Act legislative veto signed by the president, rolled back Obama-era broadband privacy rules applying to collection and use of your personal information by Internet Service...
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House and Senate Hit Endangered Species Act in One-Two Punch

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By Nora Apter, National Resources Defense Council Today Congress is holding not just one, but two legislative hearings on six separate bills that would undermine the Endangered Species Act and the species that benefit from its protections. Those who are familiar with the...
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Government Agencies Fail to Take Water Safety Seriously

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By Anjali Waikar, National Resources Defense Council Is my water safe to drink? This is a fundamental question that government officials should be able to answer without hesitation. Unfortunately for residents in East Chicago, the answer remains a troubling uncertainty. This...
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‘Recovery’ Plan for Mexican Gray Wolf Further Threatens This Endangered Species

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By Kristin Carden, Earthjustice In his essay Thinking Like A Mountain, legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold describes a time in his youth when he “had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf.” But as he watched the “fierce green fire” fade from a dying wolf’s eyes, he...
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When Asbestos Is Found in Tween Makeup, It’s Time Congress Acts

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By Sonya Lunder, Environmental Working Group An investigation by a Raleigh, N.C., TV station found asbestos – a deadly carcinogen for which there is no safe level of exposure – in a popular line of cosmetics marketed to young girls and tweens. WTVD purchased eight Just Shine...
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Does TSCA Reform Have a Future?

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By Katie Tracy, Center for Progressive Reform June 22 marked the one-year anniversary of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the first major update to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) since its original enactment in 1976. The measure set a...
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With Final Forced Arbitration Rule, the CFPB Continues to Advance the Public Interest

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By Thomas McGarity, Martha T. McCluskey and Sidney Shapiro, Center for Progressive Reform Earlier this week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took decisive action to protect hardworking people who are cheated by banks or other financial institutions. Specifically,...
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House Committee Wants to Gut EPA

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By Scott Slesinger, Natural Resources Defense Council While the press concentrates on tweets and Russian assistance to the Trump campaign, the House Republicans continue their undercover assault on our environment and natural heritage. On Wednesday, July 11, 2017, the...
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A Record-Breaking Day of Action as Millions Join Fight for Net Neutrality

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By Amy Kroin, Free Press The July 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality was a mammoth deal. So many people, organizations and companies took part via our site BattleforTheNet.com that we’re still scrambling to document everything. But one thing is clear: No one —...
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How President Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts Would Harm Early Career Scientists

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By Jacob Carter, Center for Science and Democracy Kaila Colyott is coming close to graduation as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kansas, but she’s not finishing with the same enthusiasm for her career prospects that she began graduate school with.  At the beginning, she...
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CFPB Arbitration Rule: Chamber Sides with Wall Street Over Consumers & Small Businesses

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By Grace Aylmer, Public Citizen The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wasted no time in opposing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final arbitration rule that was released Monday, criticizing it as a “brazen” act. Too often, consumers are blocked by “rip-off clauses”, a...
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Deregulation Can Kill You

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By Ross Eisenbrey, Economic Policy Institute When you hear politicians singing the virtues of deregulation, remember the Grenfell Tower fire. Last month, 80 people, including young mothers and children, died in an inferno that destroyed the 24-story Grenfell Tower apartment...
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The Unclean Water Rule

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By Evan Isaacson, the Center for Progressive Reform One question I’ve been asked a number of times over the last several years is, “What does the Clean Water Rule mean for the Chesapeake Bay?” With EPA’s recent proposal to repeal the rule, I’m once...
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On Labor Nominations, What a Difference a President Makes

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By Celine McNicholas, Economic Policy Institute Tomorrow, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) is set to consider President Trump’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), as well as Trump’s pick for Deputy Secretary of Labor....
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FDA: Vomiting, Burning, and Pain From Using Baby Wipes, Other Kids’ Cosmetics

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By Galen Roth, Environmental Working Group These are some of the effects children as young as 5 months experienced after using cosmetics and other personal care products, according to data collected by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA received reports of adverse health...
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Strong Safeguards Protect Our Loved Ones

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By Pete Altman, National Resources Defense Council Last month’s inferno at Grenfell Towers in London was a horrific tragedy. It cost more some 80 people their lives, leaving families grief-stricken and neighbors in shock. Sadly, the victims had no idea of the danger they were in...
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10 Things AT&T Could Do to Actually Support Net Neutrality

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By Craig Aron and Candice Clement, Free Press We’re still picking ourselves off the floor from all the laughing we did when AT&T issued a press release this afternoon announcing that it was joining the “Day of Action for preserving and advancing the open internet.” As...
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Strong Safeguards Protect Our Loved Ones

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By Pete Altman, Natural Resources Defense Council Last month’s inferno at Grenfell Towers in London was a horrific tragedy. It cost more some 80 people their lives, leaving families grief-stricken and neighbors in shock. Sadly, the victims had no idea of the danger they were in...
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Fight to Save the Internet This Wednesday

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By Amy Kroin, Free Press The Trump FCC — like the rest of this administration — is doing everything in its power to serve corporations and harm the rest of us. For proof look no further than Chairman Ajit Pai’s efforts to destroy the open internet and let companies like...
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Class Action Waivers Rob Workers of the Freedom to Negotiate with Their Employer

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By Celine McNicholas, Economic Policy Institute Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent agency that serves as a watchdog for consumers, issued a rule that would ban companies from using mandatory arbitration clauses to deny Americans their day...
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We’re Suing the Trump Administration for Delaying Protections Against Methane. Again.

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By Jessica Knoblauch, Earthjustice Earthjustice is suing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today over its decision to delay regulations on methane, a major greenhouse gas. Delays of critical environmental protections have become a familiar tactic from federal agencies, as the...
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NRDC Sues Over Rollback of Waste Standards for Public Lands

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By Meleah Geertsma, Natural Resources Defense Council The Department of the Interior acted illegally when it yanked the first-ever limits on methane waste and pollution for oil and gas operations on our public lands, according to a lawsuit NRDC and our partners filed today. In...
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Congress Is Trying to Give the Trump Administration a Short Cut to Ignore Public Input and Science: It Shouldn’t

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By Andrew Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists There is no question that elections matter. We follow the process and accept the results even if that results in many, many battles over the direction of the country. The election of Donald Trump and the 115th Congress seems to...
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Trump’s ‘Small Business’ Office Solicits Update for Anti-Safeguards Propaganda

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By James Goodwin, Center for Progressive Reform Late last Thursday, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy announced that it was soliciting proposals for “small business research” projects. The solicitation – and particularly the category...
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Independent Courts on Independence Day

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By David Doniger, Natural Resources Defense Council Barely a day after the New York Times reported on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s “blazing start” at rolling back Obama-era health and environmental safeguards, Pruitt got his first comeuppance from America’s independent...
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This Independence Day, Americans Deserve Freedom From Riders

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By David Rosen, Public Citizen It’s a time honored American tradition. Every July Fourth, friends and families gather together for hot dogs and beer, flags and fireworks. But imagine if you went to an Independence Day gathering where things are a little … off. The hot dogs are...
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Perry and Pruitt’s Denial of Science Threatens our Future

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By Andrew Gunther, Union of Concerned Scientists Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt recently stated that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not exert a controlling influence on climate. As a scientist who is working to help prepare the San...
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EPA’s Pruitt Met with Dow Prior to Favorable Ruling

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By Dev Gowda and Kara Cook-Schultz, U.S. PIRG On March 31st, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that his agency would deny a petition to ban the dangerous pesticide chlorpyrifos from being sprayed on food. He announced this decision despite EPA scientists’ earlier findings...
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Trump Revoked Key Pesticide Protections. We’re Fighting Back.

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By Yana Garcia, Earthjustice This past January, three brothers—ages 7, 9 and 11—and their 17-year-old sister, died in their home in Amarillo, Texas, because a highly toxic restricted-use pesticide was improperly applied in their home. And just two years ago, a family on vacation...
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Sloppy Credit Bureaus, Sketchy Credit Doctors Slammed by Trifecta of CFPB, State AGs and Consumer Lawyers

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By Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG In the news this month are several successful efforts to improve credit report accuracy, compensate the victims of credit bureau malfeasance and also to bring some credit repair doctors to heel. Did it take a village? No, it took a combination of...
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Hey, Trump. Leave Our Clean Water Alone.

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By Rhea Suh, Natural Resources Defense Council The administration is moving to repeal the Clean Water Rule, which protects drinking water for one-third of Americans. It’s summer, when Americans take to the nation’s rivers, beaches, lakes, and streams for recreation and enjoyment...
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OSHA Proposes to Delay Recordkeeping Rule

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By Jordan Barab, Economic Policy Institute OSHA has officially announced a proposal to delay the reporting requirements of its “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” recordkeeping rule that was issued last July. The recordkeeping rule simply requires employers...
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Craft Brewers Oppose Proposal to Repeal Clean Water Rule

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By Becky Hammer, Natural Resources Defense Council Today a group of 48 craft brewers sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opposing the agencies’ proposal to repeal the Clean Water Rule. These brewers, who are partners in NRDC’s...
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The Most Important Revolving Door You’ve Never Heard Of

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By James Goodwin, Center for Progressive Reform Earlier this week, Axios and Greenwire ($) reported that international oil behemoth BP is bringing on a new lobbyist to work on “[r]egulatory reform advocacy related to Federal energy and environmental rules,” as...
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Misrule of Law: How Scott Pruitt Yanks Our Vital Safeguards

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By David Doniger, Natural Resources Defense Council Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt often says he’s committed to “the rule of law,” and that “regulations should be regular.” His M.O., however, has been neither regular nor lawful. Much of the attention...
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