Center for Progressive Reform

CPR Member Scholar Op-Eds

CPR Member Scholars are frequent contributors to newspaper opinion pages across the nation. Read what they have to say:



Maryland's Whistleblower Laws Need Teeth
by Rena Steinzor and Sally Dworak-Fisher, in The Baltimore Sun, December 5, 2014

Name a tough prosecutor to succeed Holder
by Rena Steinzor, in The Hill, October 10, 2014

Gov. Jindal, Don't Sign Away Our Legal Claims
by Robert R.M. Verchick, in the New Orleans Times Picayune, May 31, 2014

Americans Deserve Real Toxic Chemical Reform
by Linda Reinstein and CPR Member Scholar Sidney Shapiro, in the MintPress News, May 14, 2014

West Blast Victims Need More than Lips Service from State (behind paywall)
by CPR Member Thomas O. McGarity, in The Houston Chronicle, April 30, 2014.

EPA's Enforcement Retreat
by CPR Member Scholars Joel Mintz and Victor Flatt, in The Hill, January 10, 2014.


Why are polluters getting discounts?
by CPR Member Scholar Rena Steinzor, in the Baltimore Sun, December 27, 2013.

What Obama Left Out of His Inequality Speech: Regulation
by CPR Member Scholar Thomas O. McGarity, in the New York Times, December 8, 2013.

It's time to focus attention on protecting the environment
by CPR Member Scholar Victor Flatt and Catherine Phillips, in the Houston Chronicle, October 15, 2013.

No mere patch protects nature
by CPR Member Scholar Victor Flatt and Catherine Phillips, in the Charlotte Observer, October 6, 2013.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short: SBA Finally Walks Back from Misleading Report on Regulations
by Sidney Shapiro, on Huffington Post, October 3, 2013.

Regulatory backlog threatens health and the environment
by Rena Steinzor, August 22, 2013, in The Hill.

Politics and progress: Will the White House stall its own climate change plans?
by Robert R.M. Verchick, July 25, 2013 in The Hill.

Toxic Chemicals Bill Trumps State Rights
by Rena Steinzor, June 26, 2013, in The Hill.

West Explosion Highlights Need for Regulatory Oversight
by Thomas O. McGarity, May 3, 2013, in the Houston Chronicle.

Smoking Gun in West, Texas, Fertilizer Blast: Lack of Government Oversight
by Thomas O. McGarity, April 29, 2013, in the Christian Science Monitor.

Federal Regulations Protect Out Communities
by Victor Flatt, April 22, 2013, in the Houston Chronicle.

Is the SBA Selling out Mom and Pop Businesses?
by Sidney Shapiro, February 5, 2013, on Huffington Post, on the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy.

President has authority to act on regulatory issues
by David Driesen, published in the January 28, 2013 Syracuse Post-Standard.


Obama Should Sidestep Congress
by Rena Steinzor and Amy Sinden, published December 27, 2012 in the Baltimore Sun.

Don't undercut consumer financial protection agencies' independence
by Noah Sachs, published in the November 26, 2012 Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Bay Cleanup Needs Consequences
by Rena Steinzor, published in the March 24, 2012 Annapolis Capital.


Healthy Environment, Strong Economy Can Co-Exist
 by Robert Adler, published in the September 24, 2011 Salt Lake Tribune.

The President's Capitulation on Smog
by David Driesen, published September 21, 2011 in the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Breathing uneasily: Obama retreats on tightening smog standards Obama's pandering to business on air pollution will cost lives
by Rena Steinzor, published in the September 8, 2011 Baltimore Sun.

Obama ozone decision a giant step backward
by Thomas McGarity, published in the September 7, 2011 Houston Chronicle.

Species conservation not factor in flooding
by Member Scholar Sandra Zellmer and John H. Davidson on species conservation considerations and the 2011 Missouri River flooding, published July 3, 2011 in the Omaha World-Herald.

In Making Disaster Plans, We Have to Imagine the Worst Case
by Robert R.M. Verchick, April 28, 2011 in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The Law's Great Strength
by Holly Doremus, on the Endangered Species Act, April 21, 2011, on the New York Times website's Room for Debate page. (Read all articles in the debate.)

Business as Usual in the Gulf
by Rena Steinzor, April 21, 2011 in the Baltimore Sun..

Recovery in Japan: Will it be Heavy-handed or Hands-off?
by Robert R.M. Verchick, April 13, 2011 in the Christian Science Monitor.

U.S. House-approved EPA budget cuts threaten environmental devastation
by Joel Mintz, March 22, 2011 in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Shutting the Door on Environmental Debate
by Robert W. Adler, March 5, 2011 in the Salt Lake Tribune on citizen access to the courts in oil and gas leasing disputes.

'Reckless' chemical laws turn people into guinea pigs
by Carl Cranor, February 28, 2011, in Environmental Health News.

Guard public; test chemicals before release
by Carl Cranor, February 27, 2011, in the Riverside Press Enterprise.

Let Government Govern
by Joe Tomain, February 25, 2011 in the Cincinnati Enquirer, on the REINS Act..

When It REINS, It Pours
by Noah Sachs, February 10, 2011 in the New Republic.

Commentary: David Driesen of Syracuse University School of Law says proposed REINS law unnecessary
by David Driesen, January 5, 2011 in the Syracuse Post-Standard.


Proposition 23 and the damage it would do to California: Setting aside the state's climate change law would damage the state's green economy and imperil California's commitment to fighting greenhouse gas emissions
by Daniel Farber and Richard Frank, October 4, 2010 in the Los Angeles Times.

Do we believe in magic?
by William Andreen in the August 8, 2010 Mobile Press-Register, on the risk of offshore oil drilling spills.

'Magic' not policy,
by William Andreen, in the July 18, 2010 Montgomery Advertiser, on the risk of offshore oil drilling spills.

What if drilling goes really wrong?
by Victor Flatt, in the July 5, 2010 Raleigh News & Observer.

Time for a Regulatory Revival
by Rena Steinzor, in the June 18, 2010 Baltimore Sun.

Gulf oil spill: Obama's regulatory response falls short
by Holly Doremus and Eric Biber, May 20, 2010, in the Los Angeles Times.

Did a single week reverse energy fortunes forever?
by Victor Flatt, May 10, 2010, in the Houston Chronicle, on the confluence of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the approval of the Cape Wind project by the federal government.

Texas water will suffer under plan to lower standards
by Thomas McGarity, March 18, 2010 in the Austin American Statesman on a proposal by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to downgrade the state's water standards.

Cap and trade is preferable to hodgepodge regulation
by Kirsten Engel and David Driesen, October 10, 2009 in the Arizona Daily Star.


Mercury and the DEQ: trading our health for economic gain
by Daniel J. Rohlf, September 4, 2009 in the Portland Oregonian.

The Cost-Benefit Dodge
by Amy Sinden and Catherine O'Neill, in the May 12, 2009 Philadelphia Inquirer.

Climate bill good first step in long and arduous trip
by CPR Member Scholars Victor Flatt and William Buzbee, in the April 25, 2009 Houston Chronicle, on improving the Waxman-Markey climate change bill.  Also in the May 5, 2009 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Tough caps would likely curb pollution and cool warming.

Rescuing Science from Politics
by CPR Member Scholars Wendy Wagner and Rena Steinzor, in the March 23, 2009 Cleveland Plain Dealer, discussing steps the Obama Administration should take to protect science in the policymaking and regulatory realms from politicization and undue corporate influence.  Also published in the Austin American-Statesman, March 23, 2009, How to Save Science from Politics.  Also in the March 30, 2009 Baltimore Sun, Purifying Science.

A Rare Win for Consumers
by CPR Member Scholar Thomas McGarity, on the Supreme Court's decision in Wyeth vs. Levine, published March 6, 2009 in the Dallas Morning News.  Also published in the Houston Chronicle, March 7, 2009, A Victory for Consumers in Pre-emption War
and in the March 9, 2009 Austin American-Statesman, Wyeth vs. Levine is a Rare Win for Consumers.


Court Takes Up Preemption Doctrine
by CPR Member Scholar Thomas McGarity, published in the November 28, 2008 Austin American-Statesman.

by CPR Member Scholar Holly Doremus, published in Slate Magazine, November 14, 2008, on the Supreme Court's decision in a case challenging the U.S. Navy's use of underwater sonar in anti-submarine testing because of its dangerous impact on whales.

Reviving Regulation
by CPR Member Scholar Rena Steinzor, published in the September 28, 2008 Baltimore Sun.

Adam Smith Meets Climate Change
a proposal for allotting international carbon credits, by CPR Member Scholar Doug Kysar and Ian Ayres, published in Slate Magazine, September 25, 2008.

Where Did Our Water Go?  Give the Law a Chance
by CPR Member Scholar Mary Jane Angelo and Richard C. Hamann, in the September 23, 2008 Orlando Sentinel.

A New Set of Negotiations Needed for the Colorado River Compact
by Robert W. Adler, in the August 30, 2008 Salt Lake Tribune.

NHTSA Roof-Crush Standard Could Deny Justice for Crash Victims
by CPR Member Scholars Sidney Shapiro, Nina Mendelson, and William Funk in the September 7, 2008 Ann Arbor News, on the dangers of agency preemption, in the context of the NHTSA's roof crush rule.

Beware Dangers of Roof Crush Rule
by CPR Member Scholars Sidney Shapiro, Nina Mendelson, and William Funk in the August 4, 2008 Winston-Salem Journal, on the dangers of agency preemption.

Conservatives Flip-Flopped on Cap and Trade
by CPR Member Scholar Robert L. Glicksman, in the June 28, 2008 Wichita Eagle.

Polar Bears in Limbo: How a legal morass could save the environment
by Holly Doremus, published in Slate Magazine, May 20, 2008.  (A follow-up to her January January 18, 2008 article.)

Safeguard lawsuits that potentially save lives
by Thomas McGarity, published in the Dallas Morning News, May 9, 2008.

Exxon should just pay its penance: It wants to wriggle out of punitive damages, but those are the ones that make a difference
by Alexandra Klass and Sandra Zelmer, published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune March 1, 2008.

Thrown back: Judges stand up for our health, the rule of law by rejecting Bush mercury stance
by Rena Steinzor, published February 21, 2008 in the Baltimore Sun.

Polar Bear Politics: Listing polar bears under the Endangered Species Act won't do much good, but we should do it anyway
by Holly Doremus, published January 18, 2008 in Slate Magazine.

Let California Experiment
by William W. Buzbee, published in the December 28, 2007 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on the Bush EPA's denial of California's request for a Clean Air Act waiver that would allow it and 16 piggybacking states to fight global warming with stricter automobile emissions standards.


The danger in defective medical devices
by Thomas O. McGarity, published December 4, 2007 in the Austin American Statesman, on the choices facing the Supreme Court in the Riegel vs. Medtronic case about federal preemption and citizen access to the courts.

Tuna, with a side of mercury
by Catherine O'Neill, published October 13, 2007 in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

'Patriotism' is redefined by environmental conservation
by Christine Klein, published April 22, 2007 in the Gainesville Sun.

City's got right to enact law on air
on cleaning Houston's polluted air, by Victor Flatt, published February 4, 2007 in The Houston Chronicle.


Court must conclude that global warming gases are a real danger, by Joseph Feller, published in the December 26, 2006 Arizona Daily Star
the December 28, 2006 Miami Herald
and the December 24, 2006 Kansas City Star.

Toxic Disclosure Should be Expanded, Not Scaled Back
by Clifford Rechtschaffen, published on the Center for American Progress website on December 18, 2006.

Bush White House blocks information to EPA libraries
by Joel Mintz and Rebecca Bratspies, published December 6, 2006 in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer; and Closing Agency libraries deals serious blow
published in the December 11, 2006 South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Houston: Just say 'yes' to clean air
by Victor Flatt, published December 2, 2006 in the Houston Chronicle.

Saving Science from Politicians
by Wendy Wagner and Rena Steinzor, published September 5, 2006 in the Baltimore Sun.

What's Next
published by the Birmingham News on August 27, 2006, New Orleans is slowly recovering from storm's devastation
published by the Mobile Press Register on August 27, 2006, and New Orleans still suffering from inaction
published August 28, 2006 by the Springfield (MO) News-Leader, by Robert R.M. Verchick.

Supreme Court drops the ball on wetlands protection
published July 10, 2006 in the Lincoln (NE) Journal-Star and Turtles All the Way Down
published July 2, 2006 in the Durango Herald, by Sandra Zellmer.

Bullies Along the Potomac
on the federal government's efforts to preempt the power of states to establish environmental, health and safety standards more stringent than its own, by Nina Mendelson, published in the July 5, 2006 New York Times.

Bush administration remiss in toxic waste cleanup
published in the July 30, 2006 Buffalo News, Hazardous Conditions: Oil and Chemical Industries Should Pay to Clean Up their Messes
published July 12, 2006 in the Austin American-Statesman, Industry Tax Breaks Have Stalled Superfund Cleanup
published July 3, 2006 in the Allentown Morning Call and Failure to Clean Up Toxic Dumps Leaves Residents at Risk
published July 3, 2006 in the Daytona Beach News-Journal, by CPR's Rena Steinzor and the Center for American Progress's Reece Rushing.

Warming to Houston as a Leader on the Environment
on Houston's role in global warming, by Victor Flatt, published April 22, 2006 in the Houston Chronicle.

A federal obligation
on the Bush Administration's approach to rebuilding New Orleans, by Robert R.M. Verchick, published February 7, 2006 in the Baltimore Sun.


Endangered Species Act Gets Listed
by Holly Doremus, published in the Christian Science Monitor, September 29, 2005

Disquieting View on Environment
by Joel A. Mintz, published July 31, 2005 in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Obscure Law a Powerful Weapon Against Environment
by Sidney Shapiro, published March 23, 2005 on the Center for American Progress website.

On the Environment, Hold Our Ground and Look to the Future
by Rena Steinzor, published on March 16, 2005 on the Center for American Progress website.

Clear Facts about Clear Skies
by Catherine A. O'Neill, published Wednesday, March 9, 2005 in the San Francisco Chronicle.

A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment
Christopher H. Schroeder and Rena I. Steinzor, published February 2, 2005 on the Center for American Progress website.


Maryland Water Standards a Quarter Century Late and Counting
by Rena Steinzor, published December 15, 2004 on the Center for American Progress website.

States Fail to Ensure Water Quality
by Clifford Rechtschaffen, published November 17, 2004 on the Center for American Progress website.

Tort Law, Texas Style
on the merits of regulation through litigation, by Douglas A. Kysar, published October 20, 2004 on the Center for American Progress website.

Responsible Regulation Sabotaged
by Sidney A. Shapiro and Thomas O. McGarity, published September 22, 2004 on the Center for American Progress website.

In Bush Grazing Decision, Politics, Secrecy Win Again, Joseph Feller on Administration suppression of a damning environmental impact statement assessing the harm from a Bureau of Land Management grazing policy, published August 18 on the websites of the Center for American Progress and AlterNet.

Responsible Regulation Sabotaged
by Thomas O. McGarity and Sidney Shapiro, published September 22, 2004 on the website of the Center for American Progress.

Mad Cow 'Firewalls' Just a Smokescreen
Thomas O. McGarity on the loopholes in the government's protections against mad cow disease, published July 22, 2004 on the Center for American Progress website.

Try Not to Breathe
Catherine A. O'Neill on the Administration's strategic shift on pollution, from forcing polluters to prevent, mitigate, or minimize the pollution they produce, to putting the burden on individuals to avoid the risks of pollution, published July 7, 2004 on the Center for American Progress website, reprinted by AlterNet.

Dangerous Illusions about Wetlands
” Alyson Flournoy, on the Bush Administration’s Earth Day announcement about protecting wetlands, published May 19, 2004 on the Center for American Progress website.

Political Intervention: The White House Doctors Mercury Conclusions
by then-Member Scholar Lisa Heinzerling and Member Scholar Rena Steinzor on White House meddling with the science on mercury pollution. Published April 16, 2004 on the Center for American Progress website.

A Perfect Storm
by Member Scholar Rena Steinzor then-Member Scholar Lisa Heinzerling, on mercury pollution, published March 17, 2004 on the Center for American Progress website.

Bush's Cost-Benefit View Carries a High Price
by then-Member Scholar Lisa Heinzerling and Member Scholar Frank Ackerman, on the Bush Administration's use of cost-benefit analysis to foil California environmental laws, published in the April 26, 2004 San Jose Mercury News.

A weighty matter? Not this one
by Douglas Kysar, on Congressional efforts to end obesity liability lawsuits before they start. Published in the March 17, 2004 Orlando Sentinel.

Balancing Lives Against Lucre
by then-Member Scholar Lisa Heinzerling and Member Scholar Frank Ackerman, on the failure of cost-benefit analysis. Published February 25, 2004 in the Los Angeles Times.

Talk till cows come home, but beef safety takes action
by Tom McGarity, criticizing the USDA's assurances that its failure to find further Mad Cow-infected cattle means the remaining threat is minimal, published February 12, 2004 in the Austin American-Statesman.

Only an Independent Agency Can Safeguard Beef
by Tom McGarity, on the USDA's response to mad cow disease and the need for a truly independent federal agency to oversee food safety enforcement, published January 6, 2004 in the Dallas Morning News.


Data Quality Or Scientific Censorship?
by John Applegate, Don Hornstein, Tom McGarity, Sid Shapiro, Rena Steinzor, and Wendy Wagner, on the failings of the Data Quality Act. Published in Risk Policy Report, October 14, 2003, and posted here by permission. (The article reflects the views of the authors. Neither Risk Policy Report nor Inside Washington Publishers condones any particular public policy viewpoint.)  

Politics and Precaution
by William H. Buzbee, on how Mike Leavitt will handle the tensions between protecting the environment and political pressure from the White House, O

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