Reports & Papers

CPR White Papers and Issue Alerts offer timely and thoughtful analysis on current policy issues, spanning the full range of environmental, health, safety and regulatory issues.

Preventing "Double Disasters"

It’s past time to address “double disasters” — hazardous chemical releases by industrial facilities that are worsened by inadequate action in the face of conditions of climate change and natural disasters. As the global climate crisis intensifies, coastal and inland communities are increasingly at risk of natural disasters. When industrial facilities in these communities fail to adequately prepare for extreme storms, wildfires, earthquakes, heat waves, floods, rising sea levels, and other natural disasters, hazardous chemicals stored onsite can ignite, explode, and there may be dangerous and even catastrophic releases that threaten the health and safety of workers and the public. This can lead to a cascading series of harms, including toxic chemical exposures, on top of the effects of the storm itself. This brief spotlights this urgent issue, proposes policy solutions, and calls on federal leaders to take bold and prompt action to solve this problem.

Type: Reports (July 7, 2021)
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Author(s): David Flores, Darya Minovi
CPR Climate Justice Initiative: Charting a National Path Forward through the California Example

Commitments to ensure an equitable clean energy transition are gaining traction, with some states dedicating a portion of clean energy funding to historically marginalized communities and the Biden-Harris administration proposing to dedicate 40 percent of federal climate funds to achieving climate justice. These commitments are essential to realizing an energy transition for communities that would otherwise be left further behind and can help alleviate longstanding inequities. As these initiatives take shape, CPR is tapping the expertise of our climate and environmental justice scholars and our body of work on climate justice. Over the next two years, we'll dig into the California example, researching the state's track record in implementing climate justice programs.

Type: Reports (April 19, 2021)
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Author(s): Alice Kaswan, Minor Sinclair
Voters Strongly Support Government Regulation to Protect Climate, Health, and Future Generations

A poll conducted by the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) and Data for Progress in January 2021 finds broad public support for a progressive climate agenda that relies on regulatory action, even if it means slower economic growth. It also shows that the public opposes the process the government currently uses to assess the costs and benefits of regulations because it undervalues clean air, safe water, and a healthy climate. Poll results and analysis are available below.

Type: Reports (Feb. 25, 2021)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Restoring Scientific Integrity to the Regulatory System Means Overhauling Cost-Benefit

In his latest article on the need for regulatory reform, James Goodwin writes that overhauling cost-benefit analysis is crucial to restoring scientific integrity. He writes, "blind-to-reality calculations are sadly commonplace in the practice of the unique form of cost-benefit analysis that now dominates in the U.S. regulatory system. Defenders of the approach claim that it makes regulatory decision-making more 'rational' and insulates the process against improper political or subjective considerations. Yet ... the methodological techniques this form of cost-benefit analysis uses can be arbitrary, unscientific, ethically dubious, and at times even absurd."

Type: Reports (Oct. 28, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Tainted Tap: Nitrate Pollution, Factory Farms, and Drinking Water in Maryland and Beyond

CPR's close look at nitrate pollution in drinking water on Maryland's Eastern Shore raises serious safety concerns. According to county data in the region, tens of thousands of residents are drinking water with elevated nitrate levels, almost certainly due to animal waste from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) nearby. Moreover, the state's lax requirements for well water testing makes it impossible to know just how widespread the problem is.

Type: Reports (Oct. 21, 2020)
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Author(s): Katlyn Schmitt, Darya Minovi
Climate, Energy, Justice: The Policy Path to a Just Transition for an Energy-Hungry America

With the nation approaching a pivotal election, 19 CPR Member Scholars contributed to a series of white papers proposing policy solutions for a just transition from carbon-based energy to renewables, with a particular focus on the environmental justice implications.

Type: Reports (Oct. 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Shalanda H. Baker, William Buzbee, Alejandro Camacho, Daniel Farber, Robert Fischman, Victor Flatt, Robert Glicksman, Alice Kaswan, Alexandra Klass, Christine Klein, Sarah Krakoff, Joel Mintz, Uma Outka, Dave Owen, Dan Rohlf, Karen Sokol, Joseph Tomain, Hannah Wiseman, Sandra Zellmer
Cost-Benefit Analysis Is Racist

In this web article, James Goodwin describes the ways that cost-benefit analysis as used in the regulatory process perpetuates racial injustice and reinforces race-based inequities.

Type: Reports (Oct. 9, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Reflections and Remembrances

CPR's Member Scholars and staff reflect on the life and work of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Type: Reports (Oct. 2, 2020)
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Beyond 12866: A Progressive Plan for Reforming the Regulatory System

Rebuilding our regulatory system is a key though often overlooked imperative for the broader progressive movement as it works to achieve its vision of a more equitable and just society. The rebuilding will ultimately require legislation, but considerable progress can be achieved through unilateral actions by the president, including executive orders. Building on its previous work to advance the cause of progressive regulatory reform, CPR is compiling on this page resources and materials that should inform the development of new executive orders for progressive regulation that would replace Executive Order 12866 and any subsequent executive orders and memoranda built on its framework.

Type: Reports (Aug. 21, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
The Progressive Case Against Cost-Benefit Analysis

In James Goodwin's article on the workings of cost-benefit analysis, he writes, "In cost-benefit analysis, small government ideologues and corporate interests have fashioned a powerful weapon for attacking regulatory safeguards and undercutting landmark laws. Much of that power derives from the elaborate mythology that its proponents have woven around the methodology over the course of the past four decades.... For its supporters, the real genius of the cost-benefit analysis myth is that it distracts from the fact that the methodology is in fact neither neutral nor objective."

Type: Reports (Aug. 20, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin

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