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Finally, a Silica Rule: A Story of Industry Interference and Regulatory Delay

, lead analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

“The science is clear,” Representative Frederica Wilson asserted in a Congressional hearing on silica earlier today. Last month, the Department of Labor issued the long-awaited silica rule to protect workers from health effects of crystalline silica dust exposure. Read more >

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Not Easy to Declare Independence from Sugar

, , sr. Washington rep., Center for Science & Democracy

Our Center for Science and Democracy has been busy studying sugar, its health impacts, and the ways that the sugar industry tries to undermine the science that shows that sugar is not a sweet deal for American families. Read more >

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The Social Cost of Carbon: Counting the Costs of Climate Change and the Benefits of Cutting Carbon Pollution

, , lead economist and climate policy manager

Last November the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) solicited comments on the administration’s social cost of carbon (SCC) calculations. Today, as the extended comment period closes, the Union of Concerned Scientists filed joint comments with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Institute for Policy Integrity (Policy Integrity), and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in support of the SCC. The current SCC value is an important start for measuring the benefits of cutting carbon pollution. At $37 per metric ton of CO2 in 2015 (2007 dollars, using a 3% discount rate), it is also almost certainly an underestimate of the costs of climate change and can be improved in the future. Read more >

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Don’t Mix Politics and Public Protections: Delays Harm Us All

, sr. Washington rep., Center for Science & Democracy

For years, UCS has been making the case that science should inform the work of federal agencies, and that agency policies and rules should not be subject to political and corporate interference. When President George W. Bush was in office, the extent of that interference was quite blatant. John Graham, then head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), an obscure but powerful office within the Office of Management and Budget, did all he could to displace science and permit corporate pressure on the rulemaking process. Read more >

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White House, Finally, Releases Silica Rule

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

And now, for some good news. After more than two years of unnecessary delay, the White House Office of Management and Budget has finally allowed the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to move forward with a proposed rule to protect workers from exposure to silica dust. I hope this is a sign that the White House will allow federal agencies to develop science-based public protections that advance their public health missions. That said, the development of the silica rule has been a fiasco, and much of the blame for delay lies with the White House.

I have written about this several times, but to recap:

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