A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment
Over the last quarter century, much of the focus of federal regulatory policy in the areas of health, safety, and the environment has been gradually redirected away from protecting Americans against various harms and toward protecting corporate interests from the plain meaning of protective statutes. This book delivers precisely what its title promises, a re-imagining of federal policy in these areas, with particular focus on the regulatory process. It identifies the failings of the current approach to regulation and proposes innovative, straightforward, and practical solutions for the 21st Century. The 2004, A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment, was a seminal collaboration among the Member Scholars of the Center for Progressive Reform (then called the Center for Progressive Regulation).
Author(s): Rena Steinzor, Christopher Schroeder
Try Not to Breathe!
Writing on AlterNet, Catherine O'Neill observes that " Scant attention has been given to the Bush administration's embrace of risk avoidance as the supposed 'solution' to public health hazards and environmental contamination." She makes the case that the burden to avoid unhealthy exposure to pollution should not fall on individuals, but rather on polluters -- but someone needs to explain that to the Bush administration.
Author(s): Catherine O'Neill
Sophisticated Sabotage: The Intellectual Games Used to Subvert Responsible Regulation
Sophisticated Sabotage: The Intellectual Games Used to Subvert Responsible Regulation, by CPR's Thomas O. McGarity and Sidney Shapiro, and David Bollier is a searing look at the methods and tools used to subvert and defeat regulations designed to protect health, safety, and the environment. In clear, accessible terms, the authors describe how dubious risk assessment and economic models have come to dominate regulatory decision-making, and to stymie urgently needed protective regulations, thus putting Americans at serious risk from avoidable hazards. Topics include cost-benefit analysis, quantitative risk assessment, the monetization of intangible values, comparative risk assessment and cost-effectiveness analysis, and related sub-disciplines.
Author(s): Sidney Shapiro, Thomas McGarity
Comments on the Department of Homeland Security's Procedures for Handling Critical Infrastructure Information (Interim Rule).
Rena Steinzor's May 2004 comments on the Department of Homeland Security's Procedures for Handling Critical Infrastructure Information (Interim Rule).
Author(s): Rena Steinzor, Karen Sokol
Political Intervention: The White House Doctors Mercury Conclusions
Materials on the Environmental Protection Agency's Web site – buried deep inside hundreds of pages of internal documents – reveal the extent to which the White House was willing to override expert scientific conclusions to justify a weak proposal to control mercury emissions from power plants. Federal agencies are required to obtain approval for all major regulatory proposals from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (led by the president's regulatory czar John Graham) within the White House Office of Management and Budget. In flyspecking EPA's mercury proposal, OMB economists and White House officials systematically downplayed scientific conclusions that methyl-mercury exposure causes brain damage in children.
Author(s): Rena Steinzor, Lisa Heinzerling
April 15, 2004: CPR's Sidney Shapiro's reaction to OMB's revised Peer Review Guidelines.
A Perfect Storm: Mercury and the Bush Administration
For the Bush administration, mercury contamination is the regulatory equivalent of the perfect storm. Four separate fields - science, law, economics, and justice - have combined to demand strict and timely controls on the intolerable hazards mercury poses for public health and the environment. While many expected the Bush administration to search for escape routes that favor its friends in the chemical and energy industries - which produce the lion's share of mercury - none were prepared for its headlong plunge into the tallest waves. Just as the doomed fishermen of the Andrea Gail sailed into the storm despite clear warnings, the administration is likewise proceeding with business as usual. This means no requirements for industrial plants to reduce pollution at the smokestack and no expectation that the oldest, dirtiest plants install modern pollution controls. Meanwhile, the clear and present danger posed by mercury is being ignored.
Author(s): Lisa Heinzerling, Rena Steinzor