The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards is an alliance of more than 180 consumer, labor, scientific, research, faith, community, environmental, small business, good government, public health and public interest groups — representing millions of Americans. We are joined in the belief that our country’s system of regulatory safeguards should secure our quality of life, pave the way for a sound economy, and benefit us all. Follow us @goodregs.
Latest Regulatory News 2024
The Securities and Exchange Commission is set to vote next week on the release of a closely watched rule that would compel every public company to disclose for the first time a wealth of climate-related information. The SEC posted notice tonight that the five-member commission would meet next Wednesday to consider the final rule, which has long been championed by investors, Democratic lawmakers and environmentalists. But Republicans and some business groups including the Chamber of Commerce have firmly opposed the draft proposal, arguing the new requirements would prove too burdensome and costly. With three Democrats and two Republicans on the commission, observers expect the agency to approve a final version, which has drawn record levels of public comments since it was proposed in March 2022. The SEC also is expected to soften its original proposal, setting the agency up for a clash with progressives and putting the U.S. further behind regulators in Europe who have pressed for more comprehensive corporate climate disclosures. But the rule likely will draw legal challenges anyway from business groups and conservatives.
How can you protect something if it no longer exists? As demand for freshwater increases and supply decreases due to climate change, rivers and reservoirs are beginning to run dry across the United States. Conventional environmental law, which includes the Clean Water Act (CWA), is insufficient to protect and preserve waterways from allocation-based and climate change threats, argues Erin Ryan, a professor at Florida State University College of Law. In a recent article, Ryan contends that, by addressing quality alone, federal water governance fails to connect the “inextricably intertwined” elements of water quality and quantity. Ryan suggests that this gap in federal regulations over water allocation has fueled support for two legal theories—the public trust doctrine and the rights of nature movement.
As Republicans slam President Joe Biden’s policies on electric vehicles and natural gas, the White House is flaunting progress and steering attention to a less polarizing environmental issue: clean water. The Biden administration has touted its credentials on water issues, with Vice President Kamala Harris stopping last week in Pittsburgh to highlight billions in federal funding to make drinking water safer and improve water infrastructure. It was the third time in two years that the vice president visited the swing state to call for an end to lead pipes, which have caused major public health crises in cities like Newark, New Jersey, and Flint, Michigan. But unlike her last visit to Pittsburgh in 2022, Harris had more to report this time, including an EPA proposal to require the removal of all lead pipes within a decade. The infrastructure law of 2021, championed by the White House, also included the largest federal investment ever in drinking water needs. That money is now flowing to all 50 states. Clean water frequently ranks as Americans’ top environmental concern, according to various polls.
The Treasury Department’s proposed tax rules for “clean” hydrogen have sparked an internal dispute in the Biden administration. The Department of Energy is pushing Treasury to relax the rules to give the industry time to embark on a massive expansion, according to three people familiar with the discussions. DOE officials are concerned that the tax guidance proposed in December will hamstring their department’s hydrogen initiatives, including a $7 billion program to create regional hydrogen production hubs, said the people who have worked directly with DOE staffers on hydrogen policy.
Fast-food wrappers and packaging that contain so-called forever chemicals are no longer being sold in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday. It’s the result of a voluntary effort with U.S. food manufacturers to phase out food contact packaging made with PFAS, the acronym for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which do not degrade and can harm human health. Starting in 2020, the FDA obtained commitments from U.S. food manufacturers to phase out PFAS in wrappers, boxes and bags with coating to prevent grease, water and other liquids from soaking through. Many fast-food companies and other manufacturers, such as McDonald’s, stopped using wrappers containing PFAS before the original phase-out date, the agency added.
Dramatic shifts to EPA’s priorities and structure are central to plans for a GOP-led White House drawn up by Trump-era officials and right-leaning influencers. Project 2025, organized by the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation, lays out detailed proposals agency by agency for a Republican president if President Joe Biden loses his reelection bid. EPA would see a return to Trump administration policies that elevated deregulation and downsized the agency, which led to tumult among staff and questions over its future.