July 2018 media hits

Public Citizen is mentioned, or its experts quoted, every day in print and broadcast media around the world. Below are links to some of the recent stories in which we have appeared.

Andrew Wheeler, New E.P.A. Chief, Details His Energy Lobbying Past

8/1/2018
The New York Times: Andrew Wheeler, New E.P.A. Chief, Details His Energy Lobbying Past by Lisa Friedman - Mr. Wheeler faces at least one formal complaint, by the nonpartisan government watchdog group Public Citizen, alleging that he “appears to be working on the same specific issue areas he had lobbied on within the last two years.” That is a potential violation of President Trump’s ethics rules limiting the influence of former lobbyists on the government, the group asserts.

Labor Leaders Ask OSHA to Protect Workers from Excess Heat

7/31/2018
United Steelworkers: Labor Leaders Ask OSHA to Protect Workers from Excess Heat by Mark Gruenberg - “It is inhumane and inexcusable that…the majority of U.S. workers who are at risk for heat stress are unprotected by any heat standard,” said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, founder of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

Abusiveness Claims Brought by CFPB May Be Fading Away

7/31/2018
Big Law Business: Abusiveness Claims Brought by CFPB May Be Fading Away by Evan Weinberger - “The CFPB should deploy all weapons to confront misconduct. Abusive acts are practices that exploit a victim’s lack of understanding,” Bart Naylor, the financial policy advocate at Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, told Bloomberg Law in a July 25 email.

Advocates warn of cover-up as Trump moves to scrap worker-safety rule

7/31/2018
NBC News Online: Advocates warn of cover-up as Trump moves to scrap worker-safety rule by Suzy Khimm - "The existing rule is in place to protect workers," said Sean Sherman, an attorney at the Public Citizen Litigation Group, which is suing the Trump administration over the way it's handled the rule. "The idea that you can protect workers by rolling back a strong worker protection is absurd."

Heat waves can be deadly for workers and will drain the US economy

7/31/2018
Vox: Heat waves can be deadly for workers and will drain the US economy by Umair Irfan - However, when we’re talking about climate change, the financial impacts should be secondary to the consequences for human life. And millions of workers remain alarmingly vulnerable to high temperatures. The advocacy group Public Citizen reported that worker fatalities from heat stress show a close link to average annual temperatures in the United States:

DeVos proposal would slash student loan forgiveness

7/26/2018
CNBC: DeVos proposal would slash student loan forgiveness by Annie Nova - “It’s hard to find fraud when you’re telling the school 'Don’t tell us about fraud'," said Julie Murray, an attorney at Public Citizen Litigation Group.

Watchdog: Penalties on corporate violators drop under Trump

7/25/2018
The Hill: Watchdog: Penalties on corporate violators drop under Trump by Brett Samuels - “When it comes to large corporations, the supposedly ‘tough-on-crime’ Trump administration is undertaking an epic retreat from law enforcement – slashing fines, declining to bring cases against corporate wrongdoers and cutting enforcement programs,” Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said in a statement.

Hospital’s experiment in sedating patients without consent raises ethical concerns

7/25/2018
The Washington Post: Hospital’s experiment in sedating patients without consent raises ethical concerns by Carolyn Y. Johnson - “These are clearly prospective clinical trials that involve much greater than minimal risk. It’s not even a close call, in our view,” said Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group. “It's just a complete and utter failure of the system, and our concern is that these two protocols that have caught public attention are just the tip of the iceberg — if they made these decisions so wrong, what else is going on at this institution?”

Report: ‘Law and order’ Trump soft on corporate offenders

7/25/2018
Associated Press: Report: ‘Law and order’ Trump soft on corporate offenders by Tami Abdollah - “Despite all his various tics and tantrums, he’s a corporate CEO,” said Rick Claypool, who co-wrote the report. “So he’s coming into it with that corporate mindset, and his sympathies are going to be with the companies on the receiving end of that enforcement action.”

Group wants feds to investigate Hennepin Healthcare's ketamine research

7/25/2018
Star Tribune: Group wants feds to investigate Hennepin Healthcare's ketamine research by Andy Mannix -  “The subjects deserve an apology for that failure,” said Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. “And this could just be the tip of the iceberg. What other research is ongoing at this institution where the IRB has just completely failed to do its job?”

As the planet warms, can OSHA protect workers from extreme heat?

7/25/2018
Working In These Times: As the planet warms, can OSHA protect workers from extreme heat? by Michael Arria - “Although OSHA has authority to protect workers from heat stress by enforcing [the general requirement], there are a lot of benefits to having a specific rule,” David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s climate program, told In These Times. “First, OSHA simply doesn't do much of that type of enforcement on heat stress. "A specific rule on heat puts employers on notice of what exactly they should do," Arkush continued. "That's important because many will voluntarily follow the law.

Activist investor pushing break-up proposal at Bank of America again

7/25/2018
The Charlotte Observer: Activist investor pushing break-up proposal at Bank of America again by Deon Roberts - In his latest proposal, which he submitted to the bank Tuesday, Naylor calls on the bank’s board of directors to examine whether divesting all non-core banking business segments would enhance shareholder value, and whether the bank should divide into a number of independent firms. The proposal cites, among other things, the “disastrous Countrywide acquisition, misrepresentations during the Merrill Lynch acquisition, massive mortgage fraud (and) a $4 billion account(ing) error that festered for years before discovery.”

Advocacy Groups Press OSHA on Heat Protection Rule

7/19/2018
Reuters : Advocacy Groups Press OSHA on Heat Protection Rule by Robert Iafolla - Public Citizen, United Farm Workers and more than 130 other worker, public health and environmental advocacy groups and universities on Tuesday submitted a petition to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration setting out elements that might be included, such as mandatory rest breaks, access to water and shade, and monitoring of workers' exposure to heat.

Feds Spend Nearly $70k at Trump Hotel in Scotland

7/19/2018
ABC News : Feds Spend Nearly $70k at Trump Hotel in Scotland by Soo Rin Kim and Shannon K. Crawford - "These are taxpayer funds--money from you and I--that Trump is spending to enrich his own business enterprise," said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist with watchdog group Public Citizen. "This constitutes self-dealing by Trump plain and simple, and we are paying for it."

Democrats Gear Up for a Fight Over the Next Head of the CFPB

7/19/2018
Vox: Democrats Gear Up for a Fight Over the Next Head of the CFPB by Emily Stewart - Kraninger has "neither experience as a regulator nor expertise in consumer financial issues," Bartlett Naylor, a financial policy advocate at consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, told the LA Times at the time of her nomination. "The nation's leading consumer financial regulator is not an entry level job."

As Temperatures Climb, Coalition Calls for Worker Protections

7/19/2018
Huffington Post: As Temperatures Climb, Coalition Calls for Worker Protections by Yvette Cabrera - Rodriguez's organization, along with two former OSHA directors, the nonprofit consumer group Public Citizen, and a broad coalition of more than 130 labor, public health and environmental organizations, filed the petition to Loren Sweatt, the acting assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, on Tuesday.

PayPal apologizes for letter demanding payment from woman who died of cancer

7/12/2018
New York Times: PayPal apologizes for letter demanding payment from woman who died of cancer by Mihir Zaveri - Robert Weissman, the president of the nonprofit group Public Citizen, which advocates consumer rights, said companies could continue to face public relations problems surrounding sensitivity as they increasingly use algorithms to dictate outreach and marketing. “It would be a fair bet that the increasing reliance on them is going to lead to more mistakes,” he said.

Trump-Putin-Brexit nexus comes together on Trump UK visit

7/9/2018
HuffPost: Trump-Putin-Brexit nexus comes together on Trump UK visit by S.V. Date - “Not unexpected at all. It certainly seems like he vacations more than any other president,” said Lisa Gilbert, the head of legislative affairs at the government watchdog group Public Citizen. “When there is so much going on that needs attention in the nation and so many relationships around the world that need tending, it’s interesting that he spends such an endless amount of time at his own properties.”

Government work done, tax policy writers decamp to lobbying jobs

7/9/2018
New York Times: Government work done, tax policy writers decamp to lobbying jobs by Alan Rappeport -  “This year, the revolving door is particularly swinging out of control,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, an advocacy group that promotes lobbying reform. “The midterm elections are coming up, which many expect to not go well for the Republicans, and this is the ideal opportunity for Republican congressional staff and administration officials to be able to cash in on what they have been doing the last year an a half.”

7 ways Scott Pruitt's legacy at EPA will live on

7/9/2018
USA Today: 7 ways Scott Pruitt's legacy at EPA will live on by Ledyard King - "Pruitt seriously damaged the EPA by demoralizing it and thinning out a lot of highly talented, experienced public servants," said David J. Arkush, climate program managing director for Public Citizen, a non-profit public health advocacy group. "I think the agency will recover – its mission is too important and too popular with the public not to – but it could (take) years."

Trump's FTC consumer chief may be single most conflicted member of his administration

7/9/2018
Los Angeles Times: Trump's FTC consumer chief may be single most conflicted member of his administration by David Lazarus - Remington Gregg at Public Citizen said it’s not fair “to vilify a guy for being wealthy, or for being a lawyer and a lobbyist.”  “But having so many conflicts makes it very hard for this person to do their job effectively,” he said. “It’s not just about impropriety but also the appearance of impropriety.  “When you have this many entanglements with industries you oversee, how can the public believe that, first and foremost, you’re looking out for consumers?”

Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid ethics scandals

7/6/2018
NBC News: Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid ethics scandals by Dartunorro Clark and Adam Edelman - Government watchdog group Public Citizen filed an ethics complaint against Wheeler — who worked as a lobbyist for the coal industry as recently as May 2017, according to Bloomberg News — explaining that his employment violated Trump's Executive Order No. 13770, which effectively barred former lobbyists from being appointed, without a waiver, to governmental positions in which they would manage issues they'd lobbied on within the past two years.

Senators to DeVos on TEACH Grant debacle: 'urgent that these mistakes are fixed'

7/3/2018
National Public Radio: Senators to DeVos on TEACH Grant debacle: 'urgent that these mistakes are fixed' by Cory Turner - "Those numbers to me sound appalling," says Julie Murray, an attorney at Public Citizen Litigation Group. Murray reviewed previously unreported documents obtained by NPR that detail this flawed outreach program. "I think it would be hard to design an outreach plan more likely to fail at fixing these errors," she says.

Parsing FERC's news dump

7/3/2018
Politico: Parsing FERC's news dump by Kelsey Tamborrino - Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum has been raising this issue to ME since before the Energy Department’s grid study was released last year, warning that DOE’s efforts to rescue coal and nuclear plants would surely give cover to PJM’s plans. “FERC is now clearing a wide path … for PJM to implement a ‘market-based’ bailout for uneconomic power plants that will have profound impacts on working families' utility bills and on states' ability to craft emissions reduction strategies,” he said by email.