CPR Archive for Matthew Freeman

'Super Polluters' Under the Microscope

by Matthew Freeman | September 30, 2016

In a story published yesterday, the Center for Public Integrity takes a deep dive into the public health impact of the nation’s “super polluters,” a collection of industrial polluters that account for an outsized share of toxic air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

Produced in collaboration with USA Today and The Weather Channel, the story focuses in on Evansville, Indiana, a city of 120,000 nestled in the southwest corner of the state and ringed by no fewer than seven coal-fired power plants within 30 miles. According to the story, they collectively pump out millions of pounds of toxic air pollution and emit greenhouse gases comparable to those produced by Hong Kong.

At the heart of CPI’s piece is an Information Age equivalent of shoe-leather journalism: the Center merged data from two EPA datasets – the Toxics Release Inventory and the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program – and identified the nation’s top 100 polluting industrial complexes for toxics and greenhouse gases, respectively. Comparing the two lists, they note that 21 facilities are on both, and four are among those surrounding Evansville.

From there, the story goes on to paint a powerfully specific picture of the health implications, including the tale of a 12-year-old Evansville asthma patient who died from an acute attack on a day in which fine particle pollution and sulfur dioxide pollution spiked. His mother said the boy’s doctors never warned ...

'Cultural Cognition' Theory Offers a Path to Climate Change Progress

by Matthew Freeman | August 25, 2016
Over the course of the last few decades, one of the great communications challenges facing progressives has been, and continues to be, how we talk about climate change. The difficulty in persuading politicians and the public about the need for action isn’t just that the effort has run head-long into a massive and well-funded industry campaign designed to sow confusion. It’s also that the policy changes needed to  make a difference fairly drip with disruption of one sort or another ...

Caution: Unabashed Bragging Ahead

by Matthew Freeman | June 03, 2016
We have an in-house guideline about bragging on CPRBlog, which is that we try to keep it to a minimum. It’s not so much a matter of modesty as it is that we think the work our Member Scholars and staff do speaks for itself. But we’re going to suspend our usual practice for a moment to note that a recent list of the 20 most-cited administrative and/or environmental law faculty in the United States includes seven CPR Member Scholars. ...

Op-Ed: Prosecuting Safety Violations that Lead to Worker Deaths

by Matthew Freeman | June 01, 2016
CPR’s Rena Steinzor and Katherine Tracy had an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee over the weekend highlighting the reluctance of police and prosecutors to treat worker deaths as if they were anything but mere accidents. In fact, they’re often the result of illegal cost-cutting and safety shortcuts by employers, behavior that sometimes warrants criminal charges. They write: When a worker dies because a trench collapses, and it turns out that managers sacrificed safety to get the job done faster, that’s a crime. When managers operate factories ...

CPR's Glicksman Testifies on Endangered Species Act

by Matthew Freeman | April 20, 2016
Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar (and board member) Rob Glicksman is on Capitol Hill testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s subcommittee on the Interior this afternoon at 2 pm ET. The hearing will focus on “barriers to delisting” of species under the Endangered Species Act. He’ll cover four major points in his testimony, which he summarizes thusly: First, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has achieved considerable success in achieving its conservation goals. Second, budgetary constraints have prevented the two agencies ...

In Advocate Op-Ed, Verchick Explores 'Nonstructural' Adaptation to Climate Change in the Gulf Coast

by Matthew Freeman | April 15, 2016
Center for Progressive Reform President Robert Verchick has an op-ed in The New Orleans Advocate this morning about Gulf Coast efforts to prepare for the effects of climate change that we’re too late to prevent. A New Orleans resident himself, Verchick and his family suffered through Katrina, so he knows what he’s talking about when he says that the Gulf Coast is “staring down the barrel of climate change.” He writes that in addition to large-scale infrastructure projects like fortifying ...

Center for Progressive Reform Welcomes New Communications Director

by Matthew Freeman | March 29, 2016
NEWS RELEASE: CPR Welcomes New Communications Director Today, the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) announced that Brian Gumm has joined the organization as its communications director. Gumm will serve alongside the group’s staff and Member Scholars in their efforts to protect our health, safety, and environment. “I’m excited to welcome Brian Gumm to our team,” said Matthew Shudtz, executive director of CPR. “CPR’s network of legal experts has incredible insights into the heated national conversations about environmental health, climate change, ...

When On-the-Job Deaths & Injuries Warrant Prosecution

by Matthew Freeman | March 24, 2016
NEWS RELEASE: New Manual Helps Workplace-Safety Activists Push for Criminal Charges in On-the-Job Tragedies Washington, DC ----- Every year, thousands of workers across the United States are killed on the job — 4,679 in 2014 alone. Thousands more are seriously injured. Many of these deaths and injuries are entirely preventable when employers put in place basic safety measures. Some even result from company policies and practices that encourage and reward behavior that creates unacceptably risky conditions. Ignoring workplace safety requirements is against the ...

CPR Scholars Testify on Judicial Deference to Agency Discretion

by Matthew Freeman | March 15, 2016
Later today, not one but two CPR Member Scholars will testify today before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. Emily Hammond and Richard J. Pierce both offer some perspective on the limits and scope of judicial deference to federal regulatory agencies. Pierce sketches out the long history of jurisprudence on the subject, noting that, Until late in the Nineteenth century, courts could not and did not review the vast majority of agency actions. The ...

Politico Examines the Obama Legacy

by Matthew Freeman | February 11, 2016
Last month, Politico’s Michael Grunwald published what I suspect is going to be a first draft of history’s judgment of Barack Obama’s presidency. He writes that “a review of his record shows that the Obama era has produced much more sweeping change than most of his supporters or detractors realize.” Grunwald runs a long list of the President’s achievements, including Obamacare, the automobile industry bailout, the stimulus bill that kept the economy from falling off of a cliff, an overhaul ...

New CPR Analysis: Chesapeake Bay TMDL Failure Looms

by Matthew Freeman | February 04, 2016
NEWS RELEASE: Analysis of EPA TMDL Data Documents Looming Failure by Chesapeake Bay States to Meet 2017 Pollution-Reduction Goals In Report & Letters to EPA and Governors, CPR Authors Call on Bay States to Step Up, and on EPA to Begin Enforcement Actions A new analysis from the Center for Progressive Reform concludes that the efforts of the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) to restore the Chesapeake Bay to health is veering off course because of state failures to reduce pollution ...

CPR's Joel Mintz on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

by Matthew Freeman | November 17, 2015
In an op-ed for The Hill, CPR Member Scholar Joel Mintz takes a look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and concludes that it’s insufficiently protective of the environment, the Administration’s assertions notwithstanding. In his piece, he notes that the TPP “contains no mention whatsoever of what is widely seen as the most pressing threat to the global environment: disruption of the earth’s climate from the release of greenhouse gases.” Indeed, he notes, the TPP could encourage more fracking, thus contributing to greenhouse ...

Shallow, Shallower, Shallowest

by Matthew Freeman | November 09, 2015
Fostering informed debate about sound regulatory policy to protect health, safety, and the environment is one of the Center for Progressive Reform’s fundamental objectives. Presidential candidates, on the other hand, like to focus on the issues that get them elected, not necessarily the issues that are important. Unfortunately, the media is increasingly complicit in avoiding genuine issue discussions. Weekend before last, GOP candidate Carly Fiorina appeared on ABC’s Sunday public affairs talk show, “This Week,” and in response to an ...

The Media Is Missing the Most Important Part of the VW Scandal

by Matthew Freeman | October 09, 2015
Courtesy of the New York Times, here’s a bit of reporting that is emblematic of the way the press has covered the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal: Volkswagen said on Tuesday that the scandal would cut deeply into this year’s profit. And the company’s shares plunged again, ending the day 35 percent below the closing price on Friday, before news of the diesel deception broke. As a result, the company’s stock market value has declined about €25 billion in two days of ...

The Clean Power Plan: Issues to Watch

by Matthew Freeman | July 31, 2015
As soon as next week, the Obama Administration is expected to release the final version of its long-awaited Clean Power Plan, an ambitious regulatory package under the Clean Air Act’s provisions that will ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the largest single source of U.S. emissions. The latest rumor in rumor- and sun-drenched Washington is that the rule will come on Monday. It’s as certain as the sun rising in the east that the energy industry and their ...

The Corps Gets More Blame for Katrina Flooding

by Matthew Freeman | May 24, 2015
It’s been almost 10 years now since Hurricane Katrina unleashed its fury on the Gulf Coast, setting in motion a massive failure of New Orleans’s flood-control system. More than 1,800 people lost their lives when Army Corps of Engineers-designed levees around New Orleans failed, allowing water to engulf the city. What followed the levee failures was something not seen in an American city in a very long time. In addition to the huge loss of life, Americans outside the region ...

CPR Announces Appointment of New President: Robert R.M. Verchick

by Matthew Freeman | April 16, 2015
Rena Steinzor Steps Down after Seven Years at Helm, Succeeded by Loyola  University New Orleans College of Law Professor, Former EPA Official  The board of directors of the Center for Progressive Reform today announced the appointment of Robert R.M. Verchick to be the organization’s third president, succeeding Rena Steinzor, who has served in the post for the past seven years. Verchick holds the Gauthier~St. Martin Eminent Scholar Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, and ...

Bad Feds, Deadly Meds: Steinzor in USA Today

by Matthew Freeman | March 01, 2015
Last December, the Justice Department announced the indictiment of the owner/head pharmacist, the supervising pharmacist, and 12 others associated with the New England Compounding Compounding Center. The 131-count indictment, which included 25 charges of second-degree murder, grew out of a 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis caused by contaminated drugs manufactured by the company. More than 750 patients were diagnosed with the illness as a result, and 64 patients in nine states died from it.  In a February 28, 2015, op-ed ...

Also from Matthew Freeman

Media relations consultant Matthew Freeman coordinates CPR's media outreach efforts and manages its online communications. His media relations experience in Washington spans more than 30 years, and his client list includes a range of organizations active on the environment, education, civil rights and liberties, health care, progressive organizing in the interfaith community, and more.

'Super Polluters' Under the Microscope

Freeman | Sep 30, 2016 | Toxics

Caution: Unabashed Bragging Ahead

Freeman | Jun 03, 2016 | Environmental Policy

CPR's Glicksman Testifies on Endangered Species Act

Freeman | Apr 20, 2016 | Environmental Policy
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