Regs Talk: The CSS Blog

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Any Excuse to Deregulate: Pandemic Edition

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By Matt Kent, Public Citizen In 2007, author Naomi Klein coined the term “shock doctrine” to describe the process through which corporate interests use major crises to further their objectives and shore up their profits. The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated once again how...

Nancy Beck Has Some Explaining to Do

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By Daniel Rosenberg, Natural Resources Defense Council Nancy Beck’s strategy for getting confirmed to chair the Consumer Product Safety Commission has been to duck and cover. During her recent hearing, she did everything she could to pretend that she does not have a lengthy...

Beware Toxic Algae Over the Fourth of July

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By Anne Schechinger, Environmental Working Group Over the Fourth of July holiday, don’t act like the crowds recreating in Grand Lake St. Marys, Ohio. With area pools closed due to the pandemic, people are flocking to the lake to cool off, despite the state’s guidelines on social...

New Federal Monopoly Standards Do Not Pass Go

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By Alex Harman, Public Citizen At the beginning of this year, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission issued Draft Vertical Merger Guidelines. While this might seem like a hyper-technical endeavor, it became the latest battlefield i...

Seila Law v. CFPB: What’s Unconstitutional for One May Not Be Unconstitutional for All

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By Rebecca Jones, Project on Government Oversight This week, the Supreme Court issued a decision that could help clear the way for Congress to pass crucial protections for inspectors general. While the case at hand, Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, does not...

Trump’s EPA Must Protect and Secure Clean Air For All

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By Vijay Limaye, John Walke and Emily Davis, Natural Resources Defense Council Air pollution is deadly. It’s a global menace that contributes to millions of early deaths each year from heart disease, lung ailments, and cancer. In the U.S., millions of people are breathing in...

Congress Must Act Now to Protect Workers From Heat Stroke and Death

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By Juley Fulcher, Public Citizen Asunción Valdivia came to America on July 24, 2004, to join his family. The family reunion was abruptly cut short five days later, when Asunción died. After a 10-hour workday picking grapes in the 105 degree sun, he collapsed in a field from...

The Scientific Basis for Managing PFAS as a Chemical Class

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By Anna Reade, Natural Resources Defense Council Today, 16 experts on PFAS (including yours truly) published an article in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, providing a scientific explanation for why a class-based approach to the nearly 8,000 separate but related...

Let’s Protect Millions of Kids From Lead-Tainted Water!

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By Erik D. Olsen, Natural Resources Defense Council Most of us remember the disastrous lead contamination of the tap water in Flint, Michigan, but few people realize that lead-contaminated drinking water is a widespread problem across the country. Action on this problem is long...

Trump Justices Cast Deciding Votes to Eliminate CFPB Independence

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By Elliot Mincberg, People For the American Way Trump Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch cast deciding votes to eliminate the independence established by Congress for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), ruling 5-4 that the president must be...

USDA Must Protect Communities From Mass Animal Killings

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By Valerie Baron, Natural Resources Defense Council Shutdowns at industrial slaughterhouses due to the COVID-19 crisis have caused backlogs of animals throughout the U.S. that cannot be slaughtered for food because there simply isn’t capacity to process them. As of June 26, 2020...

Summer Is Here and It Brings More Health Risks for Workers

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By Allison Behrens, Public Citizen As we face the first weeks of summer, many of our country’s residents have already experienced an unusually warm May. This is in no small part due to human-induced climate change. Since 1960, every decade has been warmer than the la...

States, NGOs Ask Court to Restore State Clean Car Standards

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By David Doniger, Natural Resources Defense Council A coalition of states and public health and environmental groups attacked the Trump administration’s efforts to block standards set by California and other leading states to curb climate-warming pollution from new cars and...

CFPB Directors Now Under President’s Thumb

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By Scott Nelson, Public Citizen The Supreme Court issued its ruling in Seila Law v. CFPB today, holding by a 5-4 vote that the Congress violated the principle of separation of powers by placing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under a single director removable by the...

Scientists Prevail in Lawsuit Against EPA Science Advice Ban

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By Michael Halpern, Union of Concerned Scientists In a win for independent science, the EPA said yesterday that it will rescind a policy banning many of the nation’s top environmental scientists from serving on the agency’s science advisory committees. The agency was under court...

Public Citizen Fights for Worker Heat Protections

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By Juley Fulcher, Public Citizen Asunción Valdivia came to America on July 24, 2004, to join his family. The family reunion was abruptly cut short five days later, when Asunción died. After a 10-hour workday picking grapes in the 105 degree sun, he collapsed in a field from...

The Violence of Pollution: The Injustice of Rolling Back Clean Air Protections

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By Paola Massoli, Union of Concerned Scientists Network It is mid-June 2020 and another day of unrest in America. As I scan the news, I learn that the environment has been under attack. Again. President Trump recently signed an executive order to dismantle the process requiring...

Supreme Court Ruling in Liu v. SEC a Victory for Agency, Investors

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By Better Markets The Supreme Court issued a ruling this week upholding the SEC’s right to obtain disgorgement from those who violate the securities laws and defraud investors. This is a major win for the SEC and investors everywhere, says Steve Hall, legal director and...

In Final Decision, EPA Fails to Protect Public From Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Consumer Products

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By Melanie Benesh, Environmental Working Group This week the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule regulating the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS  in consumer products. True to form for the Trump administration, the rule significantly weakens a public health...

CFPB Task Force: Help Consumers, Not Financial Industry

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By Better Markets Better Markets has called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s task force to help consumers and not cater to the financial industry. “Millions of Americans who rely on credit cards, auto loans and mortgages need protection from predatory behavior in...

Leaking and Looming, Legacy Coal Ash Ponds Spew Poisons. Is There One Near You?

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By Lisa Evans, Earthjustice Legacy ponds are the walking dead of the coal ash universe – toxic waste sites that live long after coal plants have closed, slipping through regulatory cracks as they continue to poison communities. After years of delay and in clear violation of a...

SEC’s Whistleblower Program Under Threat

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By Better Markets The SEC Whistleblower Protection and Rewards Program, one of the most successful programs established by the Dodd-Frank Act, is under threat following proposed changes by the SEC that would discourage whistleblowers from reporting illegal activity. Better...

Has the Supreme Court Shielded Us From Trump Administration Health Care Rules?

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Be Lee Goldberg, AFL-CIO The Supreme Court last week handed down a landmark decision barring employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity⁠—a significant step forward in the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the...

The Supreme Court’s DACA Decision, Environmental Rollbacks and the Regulatory Rule of Law

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By William Buzbee, Center for Progressive Reform On June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Trump administration’s rescission of the Obama administration’s immigration relief program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In explaining and...

DACA Survives at SCOTUS

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By Daniel Costa, Economic Policy Institute Almost eight years to the day after President Obama announced his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, better known as DACA, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has issued a decision in Department of Homeland...

Sweetened With What? Lack of Transparency and Misleading Claims Make Reducing Added Sugars Confusing

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By Sally Greenberg, National Consumers League Many of us are probably trying to heed the advice of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce our consumption of added sugars. FDA has made “Added Sugars” content per serving a mandatory line on the Nutrition Facts label...

Climate Scientists Confront a Culture of Fear and Self-Censorship in Government Agencies

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By Maria Caffrey, Union of Concerned Scientists This week I was quoted in an article from the New York Times (NYT) about the war on climate science and what those within our federal agencies are doing (or not doing) to protect the science from censorship. It is an excellent...

As COVID-19 Cases Rise in States That Rushed to Reopen, NELP Urges States to Protect All Workers and Prioritize Workers of Color

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By Rebecca Dixon, National Employment Law Project The National Employment Law Project urges state and local governments to protect the health, safety, and economic stability of underpaid and unemployed workers in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic—both during the crisis and...

New Dietary Guidelines Could Help Us Kick Our Sugar Habit — But Will Science Win Out?

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By Sarah Reinhardt, Union of Concerned Scientists For the last sixteen months, top health and nutrition experts have been hard at work reviewing the scientific research that will inform the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Yesterday, via webcast, they finally shared...

Ignoring Protests and Pandemic, Trump Pushes Rollbacks

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By Paul Rauber, Sierra Club President Donald Trump thrives on chaos. While the public struggles to deal with the whirlwinds he is riding (and sometimes creating), Trump seizes the opportunity to fulfill his personal agenda. Already under the cover of COVID-19, he has rolled back...

OSHA, Other Agencies Need to Step Up on COVID-19, Future Pandemics

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By Thomas McGarity, Center for Progressive Reform Governments and industries are “reopening” the economy while COVID-19 continues to rage across the United States. At the same time, the lack of effective, enforceable workplace health and safety standards puts workers...

The Toxic Horror Story of Nancy Beck

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By Zach Brown, Public Citizen The U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) is a little-known agency, but it has a big responsibility to ensure that the products in our homes are safe. It has responsibility for ensuring that more than 15,000 products are safe, including...

How Safe Are Children’s Products? It Might Depend on Trump’s Next Nominee to the Consumer Product Safety Commission

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By Gretchen Goldman, Union of Concerned Scientists Today the Senate holds a hearing on the nomination of Dr Nancy Beck to chair the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). I doubt you spend much time thinking about the CPSC, but the little-known agency plays a crucial role in...

How Trump’s Consumer Safety Nominee Weakened Regulation of ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Consumer Products

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By Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group There are many reasons for the Senate to oppose President Trump’s nominee to chair the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Nancy Beck. Since 1980, the use of methylene chloride in paint strippers has killed scores of people. But while...

Scientists Oppose Trump’s CPSC Nominee Nancy Beck

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By Jenifer Sass, Natural Resources Defense Council Over 90 scientists are opposing President Trump’s nominee, Nancy Beck, to become the next Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), because of her damaging policies that put consumers in harm’s way. Signers include...

Hurricane Season Is Upon Us and Old Sharpies Never Die

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By Andrew Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists Last September, as Hurricane Dorian approached the US, the forecasters did their job, but the president decided he knew better. Altering a forecast chart with a Sharpie pen and holding it up in the Oval Office was just the...

Court Order Okays OSHA Inaction on COVID-19

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By Katie Tracy and Brian Gumm, Center for Progressive Reform In a June 11 order, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied an AFL-CIO writ of mandamus asking the court to compel the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to do more to protect workers from infectious...

CFPB Complaint Volume Sets Another Record in May

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By Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG As of today, consumer complaints to the CFPB set a third straight monthly record in May, with 35,093 complaints reported. Complaints about credit reporting lead by far, followed by debt collection, credit card and mortgage complaints. Job and income...

Federal Lawsuit Could Limit Fluoride in Drinking Water

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By Olga Naidenko, Environmental Working Group A landmark federal lawsuit that went to trial this week in California could change the longstanding practice of adding fluoride to the drinking water supplies for 200 million Americans. The lawsuit, brought against the Environmental...

EPA Opens Window to Air Conditioning’s Next Generation

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By Alex Hillbrand, Natural Resources Defense Council Good news came out of EPA last week in the effort to replace climate-polluting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with safer alternatives. In the refrigerant business, there’s life before and after “SNAP approval,” when EPA deems better...

Lawsuit Launched Targeting Trump Administration’s Suspension of Pollution Monitoring

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By Waterkeeper Alliance Conservation groups today filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration over the Environmental Protection Agency’s suspension of monitoring and reporting requirements for major pollution during the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows confirmation...

It’s Hurricane Season. Will State and Federal Agencies Act to Reduce Public Health Hazards From Toxic Flooding?

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By Darya Minovi, Center for Progressive Reform June 1 marked the start of hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin. While not welcome, tropical storms, strong winds, and storm surges are an inevitable fact of life for many residents of the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf Coast. A...

COVID-19 Spreading to Food Processing Facilities Across the U.S.

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By Jared Hayes and Braelyn Parkman, Environmental Working Group Although not yet as pervasive as outbreaks at meatpacking facilities, COVID-19 is on the rise at America’s food processing facilities. EWG’s search of news stories published from March 14 to June 8 found that almost...

Amid Pandemic, EPA Proposal Distorts the Benefits of Reducing Air Pollution

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By Natural Resources Defense Council The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new, dishonest way of weighing the costs and benefits of the Clean Air Act—a move intended to hamstring the agency’s ability to pass effective clean air protections in the future. “For the...

With New Manipulation of Benefit-Cost Analysis, the Trump EPA Attempts to Hide Bodies in the Fine Print

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By Julie McNamara, Union of Concerned Scientists Nobody reads the fine print. Or that’s the apparent thesis of the Trump administration’s EPA, anyway, in its newly proposed spin on benefit-cost analysis. Here, now, the agency with its mission to protect human health and the...

Trump Takes Moment of National Crisis to Give Polluters an Unprecedented Pass

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By Natural Resources Defense Council Declaring an “economic emergency,” President Trump signed an unprecedented executive order today that allows industry to skirt foundational environmental laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, and the...

On World Environment Day, the Government Slashes Environmental Protections

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By Earthjustice June 5 is World Environment Day. This year, the Trump administration is “celebrating” by assaulting environmental protections while other crises divert the nation’s attention. Today—instead of taking action to address police brutality, systemic racism, or the...

Federal District Court Rebuffs Trump Labor Board for Shirking Rulemaking Requirements

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By Michael C. Duff, Center for Progressive Reform For decades, commentators have complained about how long it can take for workers attempting to unionize to simply get an election in which workers make an up-or-down decision on whether to form a union. For many years, employers...

Clean Water Webinar Spotlight: Lessons Learned from the Supreme Court’s Maui Decision

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By Katlyn Schmitt, Center for Progressive Reform In April, the U.S. Supreme Court finally weighed in with an answer to a longstanding question about what kinds of pollution discharges rise to the level of a “point source” and require a permit under the Clean Water...

CFPB’s Effort to Redo All of Consumer Finance Law Is a “Task Farce”

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By Bartlett Naylor, Public Citizen On June 1, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) completed a 60-day comment period for public input to help its newly empaneled task force that Director Kathleen Kraninger directed to re-envision all of consumer financial...

I’m Reading the CFPB’s Mail About the Pandemic’s Effect on Family Finances

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By Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG I’ve been reading the CFPB’s mail. It’s okay, you can too. It’s public. Not surprisingly, the latest CFPB consumer complaints paint a grim picture of the pandemic’s effect on family finances. I ask: Why isn’t the CFPB doing more to help the struggling...

New Data: Consumers Are Already Struggling With COVID-19-Related Mortgage Servicing Problems

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By Gideon Weissman, Frontier Group Mortgage servicers failed Americans during the last recession. And if early data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is any indication, history may well be on its way to repeating. Last week, I published a blog post describing the...

The Trump Administration’s Hazy Plans to Weaken Car Pollution Standards Won’t Work. Here’s Why.

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By Paul Cort, Earthjustice The future of the nation’s clean car protections is on the table, and Andrew Wheeler, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is moving forward with a plan that will unleash tailpipe pollution across the country. The Trump administration would...

The Whittling Away of State Clean Water Act Authority

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By Katlyn Schmitt and Dave Owen, Center for Progressive Reform Sometime soon, EPA is expected to release its final rule limiting state and tribal authority to conduct water quality certifications under section 401 of the Clean Water Act. A water quality certification is the most...

Investing in Dietary Guidelines Will Leave Us Better Prepared for the Next Pandemic

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By Sarah Reinhardt, Union of Concerned Scientists As US cases of COVID-19 near 1.7 million, we continue to learn more about the nature of the disease, including the factors that influence susceptibility to COVID-19 and the severity of symptoms. Some of these risk factors, like...

EPA Adopts Trump’s Reckless Twitter Style

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By Adrian Shelley, Public Citizen President Trump is most in his element when on the defensive. Attacking his critics allows Trump’s insults, rants, and meandering interpretations of reality to flow more easily.   This has come to typify Trump’s tweetstorms: long string...

New Trump Executive Order Sells Off the Ocean and Fails Coastal Communities

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By Miriam Goldstein and Alexandra Carter, Center for American Progress The United States is in the midst of a health and economic crisis. Yet instead of taking critical action to help the millions of suffering Americans, the Trump administration continues to push forwar...

The Pentagon Should Address All Types of PFAS on Military Bases

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By Melanie Benesh, Environmental Working Group The toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS belong to a family with hundreds of different members. They are linked to an array of health risks, including cancer, thyroid disruption, reproductive and developmental harms, reduced...

A Snapshot of Clean Air Advocacy in America

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By American Lung Association During the industrial revolution, air pollution from booming industrial manufacturers and a growing network of train lines first became a significant public health issue.  People in urban areas became used to the sight of large plumes of smoke...

New Study Shows Heat Stress Protections Prevent Kidney Injury Among Farmworkers — and Save Lives

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By Marya Reiter, Farmworker Justice The lack of a federal standard to protect agricultural workers from heat stress endangers the health and lives of farmworkers across the U.S. Heat stress is a frequent risk to farmworkers, who often spend long periods doing physically-demanding...

Public Knocks Down Virtual Doors of EPA Hearing on Air Pollutant Linked to COVID-19

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By Mary Anne Hitt, Sierra Club This week, clean air supporters broke down the virtual doors of an EPA hearing on a Trump air pollution proposal, and I’m so here for it. They overwhelmed the EPA on the first and second days of online hearings on the Trump administration’s...

Trump Administration’s Order to Gut Protections in the Name of COVID Will Harm Communities for Polluter Profits

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By Abigail Dillen, Earthjustice The Trump administration never lets a crisis go to waste. This week, in the middle of a global pandemic that has killed more than 90,000 Americans and left 35 million unemployed, President Trump ordered federal agencies to seek out regulations to...

CPR Urges EPA to Abandon Unjustified and Harmful Censored Science Rulemaking

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By Darya Minovi and James Goodwin, Center for Progressive Reform Earlier this week, we submitted a public comment to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), criticizing the agency’s March 2020 supplemental proposal for its “censored science” rulemaking. This rule,...

Environmental Rollbacks Won’t Revive the Economy

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By Marc Yaggi, Waterkeeper Alliance Re: The Trump Administration Is Reversing 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List, The New York Times When Richard Nixon vetoed the Clean Water Act in 1972, he called the Act “budget-wrecking,” saying, “Legislation which would continue...

Not Worth the Risk: It’s Time to Get Talc Out of All Cosmetics, Not Just Baby Powder

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By Danielle Melgar, U.S. PIRG Johnson & Johnson announced on Tuesday that it has ended the sale of talc-based baby powders in the United States and Canada. That’s a big win for consumers, because talc is often contaminated with asbestos, which can cause cancer. As of March,...

Shocking the Markets: Excessive Speculation and Climate Change

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By Dr. Steve Suppan, Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy On May 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) issued a warning to the trading platforms, clearing organizations (the back office processing of trades) and futures contract merchants: the...

With Trump Executive Order, Are Meat and Poultry Plants a COVID-19 Ticking Time Bomb?

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By Rebecca Boehm, Union of Concerned Scientists On April 28, President Trump issued an executive order directing slaughterhouses and meat and poultry processing plants to remain open as critical infrastructure. The order noted that these facilities should follow CDC guidelines to...

Wheeler’s Staff Shows the Clean Cars Rollback is a Disaster

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By Luke Tonachel, Natural Resources Defense Council According to two new bombshell articles this week, EPA staff experts had as many concerns about the Trump administration’s rollback of clean car standards as those of us on the outside have. The understated, factual criticisms...

It’s Time to End the Use of Talc in Loose Powders

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By Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group The news, announced Tuesday, that Johnson & Johnson will soon end the sale of baby powder with talc is long overdue. Because talc and asbestos can form in the same parent rock, cosmetics made with talc can become contaminated with...

Trump Tells Agencies to Slash Environmental and Health Protections

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By Natural Resources Defense Council Citing the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump issued a sweeping executive order that directs federal agencies, like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to roll back or fail to enforce a wide range of regulations...

New Analysis: Unlike Bush and Obama, the Trump Administration Is Muzzling CDC Scientists During Pandemic

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By Anita Desikan, Union of Concerned Scientists Despite the incredible efforts of Dr. Anthony Fauci and other scientists in the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the Trump White House has pushed aside CDC scientists from communicating with the public during the COVID-19...

Trump Judge’s Dissent Tries to Uphold EPA Rule Eliminating Restrictions on Dangerous Emissions: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears

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By Elliot Mincberg, People For the American Way Trump D.C. Circuit judge Neomi Rao argued in dissent that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should be allowed to completely scrap a previous rule that restricted industry use of dangerous hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) without...

NRDC Fights Dangerous Science Censorship Plan at EPA

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By Vijay Limaye, John Walke and Emily Davis, Natural Resources Defense Council As the coronavirus continues to impose significant health and economic hardship and disrupt daily life, it is becoming ever clearer that federal leaders should rely on the best available science to...

EPA Should Cancel Plans to Restrict Science Once and For All

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists Today, UCS submitted our comment on the Environmental Protection Agency’s flawed strengthening transparency rule. In our view, this is a proposal beyond fixing. It rests upon an erroneous assumption that the EPA’s regulatory science is...

Endangered Species Day: A Chance to Cherish Nature and Wildlife

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By Bonnie Rice, Sierra Club “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals … We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be...

Now Is the Time to Improve SNAP for Food Insecure Families

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By Sara Imperiale and Margaret Brown, Natural Resources Defense Council As of January 2020, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) served more than 37 million people. More than 80 percent of recipient households are families with children, seniors, or those...

The EPA Is Set to Ignore Science and Risk Your Health on Particulate Pollution: Your Voice Needed

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By Gretchen Goldman, Union of Concerned Scientists The Trump Administration is set to ignore science and risk your health on an air pollution rule that will affect millions of people in the US. EPA Administrator Wheeler is going against EPA scientists and against the...

EPA Refuses to Protect Children From Perchlorate-Contaminated Tap Water

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By Erik D. Olson, Natural Resources Defense Council In an extraordinary decision, President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Andrew Wheeler has decided to defy a court-ordered consent decree requiring the agency to issue a drinking water standard for...

How State and Local Governments Can Support Safe Workplaces and Protect Public Health During the Coronavirus Crisis

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By David Madland, Center for American Progress Action Fund In recent weeks, scores of essential workers across the country—from meatpackers and warehouse workers to transit employees and grocery clerks—have gone on strike to demand safer working conditions and higher wages that...

Investigation: Counties With Meatpacking Plants Report Twice the National Average Rate of COVID-19 Infections

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By Sarah Graddy, Soren Rundquist and Bill Walker, Environmental Working Group Counties with or near meatpacking plants have almost twice the rate of known COVID-19 infections as the national average, according to a geospatial analysis by the Environmental Working Group. Based on...

Put Workers First in COVID Response

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By Jeremy Richardson, Union of Concerned Scientists As I often say to friends and colleagues, the issues we face as a society are complex and simply cannot be reduced to bumper sticker slogans. Sometimes, however, the reality is strikingly simply—and staring us right in the face....

Endangered Species Day: More Vital Than Ever

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By Lucas Rhoads, Natural Resources Defense Council Friday, May 15th is Endangered Species Day, a time to cherish the world’s biodiversity and to celebrate the many conservation successes of the past fifty years. It’s also a time to recognize that fighting for these species...

Six Ways Nancy Beck Showed Us She Doesn’t Care About Us or Science

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists As I balance working from home and caring for my toddler, I spend a lot of time staring at the scores of products in my home that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is tasked with keeping safe. Cribs, highchairs, toys, arts...

Work Conditions Make Farmworkers Uniquely Vulnerable to COVID-19

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By Melanie Benesh and Jared Hayes, Environmental Working Group Depending on the season, an estimated 1 million to 2.7 million workers, mostly undocumented, toil on the nation’s farms. Without farmworkers, the American food system would collapse – and during the coronavirus...

On the Heels of Rollback, Auto Makers Seek Another Hand Out

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By Dave Cooke, Union of Concerned Scientists While the administration just finalized its reduction in vehicle efficiency from 5 percent per year to no better than a measly 1.5 percent per year (despite their own evidence showing how bad it is for the country), that hasn’t stopped...

Yet Another Reason Nancy Beck Should Not Run Consumer Agency

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By Daniel Rosenberg, Natural Resources Defense Council You may have heard recent reports about the White House burying detailed guidance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to help safely re-open amid the pandemic. The White House and CDC have claimed that the head of the...

NRDC Sues After EPA Gives Industry a Pass on Leaks of HFCs, a Potent Climate Pollutant

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By Natural Resources Defense Council In our 112th lawsuit against the Trump administration, NRDC sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today after the agency reversed a rule that aims to prevent leaks of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)—potent chemicals used in commercial and...

The FDA’s Convoluted Stance on Abortion Pills Doesn’t Protect Patients — It Endangers Them

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By Sarah Christopherson and Olivia Snavely, National Women’s Health Network Under federal law, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can impose Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) on drugs that it believes could do more harm than good if not carefully...

The New Title IX Rule Is Dangerous for All Students. That’s Why We’re Suing Betsy DeVos (Again).

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By Elizabeth Tang, National Women’s Law Center It’s here. Betsy DeVos has released—in the middle of a global pandemic—a new Title IX rule that weakens protections against sexual harassment in school. DeVos finalizing this rule during the COVID-19 crisis instead of providing...

When ‘Essential’ Means ‘Expendable’: Connecting the Dots Between Back-to-Work Orders and Spread of the Coronavirus

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By Matthew Freeman, Center for Progressive Reform In the latest episode of CPR Board President Rob Verchick’s Connect the Dots podcast, he and CPR Member Scholars Michael Duff and Thomas McGarity explore worker safety issues in the era of the coronavirus. McGarity begins...

America Needs Good Information Before It Can Safely Lift Stay-at-Home Rules

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By Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG Public health experts have made it abundantly clear that to safely lift stay-at-home rules we must have four key things we don’t yet have. We need fast, accurate and widely available testing. We need a better plan for isolating and supporting people...

Timeline: 23 Years of Attempts to Restrict Public Health Science at EPA

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By Michael Halpern, Union of Concerned Scientists The Environmental Protection Agency is advancing a broad proposal to restrict the use of science at the agency with no official public hearings and a limited sixty-day comment period, which ends on May 18. The rule is the...

Coronavirus Relief Act Gives Drug Makers New Sway Over FDA

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By David S. Hilzenrath, Project on Government Oversight Last year, based on growing concerns about the safety of certain sunscreens, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a plan of action. It proposed concluding that, for two sunscreen ingredients, the risks outweigh...

Oral Arguments in Contraceptive Case Show Danger of Upholding Trump Rule

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By Elliot Mincberg, People For the American Way Today, the Supreme Court held oral arguments in the Supreme Court in two cases concerning the Trump administration rule that severely limits contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As always, it is difficult to...

Senate Plan to Protect Data in a Pandemic Is Mostly Bad News

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By Emily Peterson-Cassin, Public Citizen There’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is that a bill is about to be introduced in the U.S. Senate to offer some protections around the new data being collected by companies that are tracking our health and movement in the...

Responding to COVID-19 Doesn’t Have to Mean Sacrificing Frontline Communities

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By Genna Reed, Union of Concerned Scientists As the U.S. government responds to the COVID-19 crisis, it is imperative that frontline communities and essential workers are not saddled with the cost of hastily made decisions. On March 25, EPA announced that efforts were underway to...

We Need the Clean Air Act, Now More Than Ever

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By Vijay Limaye, Natural Resources Defense Council As the United States observes Air Quality Awareness Week, a new report commissioned by NRDC highlights the landmark achievements of the Clean Air Act to protect our health. Since its near-unanimous passage by Congress 50 years...

Congress Must Include Worker Protections in the Next Coronavirus Relief Bill

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By Celine McNicholas and Margaret Poydock, Economic Policy Institute In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Congress has now passed four separate relief and recovery measures allocating trillions of dollars in aid, but none have provided meaningful protections to working...

Clean Air Act: Tremendous Lifesaver and Economic Engine

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By Simon Mui and Amanda Levin, Natural Resources Defense Council Marking the 50th anniversary of the first ever Earth Day, a newly released study finds that air pollution programs implemented under the federal Clean Air Act are saving hundreds of thousands of lives and delivering...

A Pandemic Response That Puts Politics Before Science Is Doomed to Fail

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By Rebecca Jones, Project on Government Oversight As the world contends with the coronavirus pandemic, decision-makers cannot afford to kick objective science to the sidelines. Yet on April 21 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demoted Rick Bright, a career expert...