We are already off to a big start this week, once again working hard while Congress is on vacation. One of our biggest tasks at hand is countering the misinformation many corporate-backed GOP lawmakers in Congress are pushing. Lax regulation was a chief culprit in a number of recent disasters in the U.S. The financial meltdown, the BP oil spill and the Upper Big Branch mine explosion each demonstrate the need for government oversight of corporations. Despite this, there are several bills gaining steam in Congress that seek to undermine efforts to establish commonsense protections. In the case of the REINS Act, which we just released a fantastic report on called Decoding the Bill, the degree to which major electric utility companies are ready to shell out millions to lobby for its passage calls into question the “deregulation will help small businesses” rationale.
Today we just released a new analysis entitled, Regulations At Work: Five Rules that Save Workers’ Lives and Protect their Health. As it turns out, regulations aren’t so bad! Read the report and also check out Public Citizen’s workplace health and safety expert Justin Feldman’s blog post from earlier today, “I don’t mind working, I do mind dying.”
Also today, per our usual– we are fighting back against hydraulic fracking. Late last week, a subcommittee of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) studying fracking issued some recommendations. Well, we submitted comments to the subcommittee, whose makeup isn’t exactly balanced, and now we are submitting a second round of comments because the recommendations do not adequately address the many problems with fracking. According to our energy program director Tyson Slocum in a just released statement, among the solutions Public Citizen has proposed is a repeal of the various exemptions the natural gas industry has received from federal environmental laws; the denial of drilling companies’ “proprietary” right to keep secret the identity of toxic materials they inject underground and an emphasis on improved outreach to affected communities. Click here to read the rest of Tyson Slocum’s statement on the DOE’s fracking recommendations.
Still not enough transparency pushing for your liking? Well, it isn’t enough for us either. This week we are also gearing up to send a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in favor of disclosure of corporate political spending.