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The Supreme Court Made Regulating Corporations Nearly Impossible

On June 28, the Supreme Court published its decision in the case Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. While the case has not attracted as much attention as some of the Court’s recent spate of controversial rulings, it revoked a long held precedent and will limit government agencies’ ability to do their jobs. Loper Bright deals with seemingly mundane questions of commercial fishing regulation. Current federal law requires fishing companies to allow National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) monitors to board their boats for regulatory purposes. The NMFS, however, has interpreted federal law to create a new rule requiring the industry to subsidize this monitoring at a cost of roughly $700 per day.

SCOTUS Overturns ‘Chevron’ Deference, Massive Transfer Of Power To Courts

The Supreme Court ruled along ideological lines on Friday to overturn a 40-year-old doctrine known as Chevron deference in a seismic decision that could see a major erosion of federal administrative rule in issues of public health, labor rights, environmental protection, food safety, and more. The Court ruled 6 to 3 in a pair of decisions that hands a massive amount of control over federal regulatory powers to the courts, overturning the doctrine that allowed federal agencies to have interpretive authority when there was any ambiguity in a law. Chevron deference allowed experts at federal agencies — as people better situated to make decisions on issues within their regulatory purview — to interpret statutes rather than judges.

Big Food, Big Profits, Big Lies

As food costs have skyrocketed for Americans, some of the country’s biggest chains and grocery brands, including General Mills, PepsiCo, and Tyson, have blamed the price hikes on supply chain issues and economywide inflation. But behind the scenes, these companies have expanded profits and quietly authorized billions of dollars in lucrative stock buyback programs and dividend payouts to shareholders.

Mine Water Is Spewing Into This West Virginia Community

Wolf Pen, W.Va.—Trees line Tina Christian’s driveway, and the rolling mountains of southern West Virginia rise around her yard. Her grandchildren play in the peaceful creek that twists through the woods behind her trailer. Or, at least, they did — until a geyser of dirty mine water shot out of an abandoned gas well behind the home in February 2023. It flooded the yard for weeks. Now, Tina and her husband, Jamie, are afraid to have their grandchildren visit at all. “I’d hate for them to come down here and visit and spend the night, and ten years down the road, they find out they’ve got cancer from playing at momaw and popaw’s house,” Tina Christian says.

Former US Treasury Secretary Reveals TikTok Purchase Plans

Former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he is building an investor group to acquire TikTok, a day after the House of Representatives voted to force the social media platform’s Chinese owner ByteDance to sell the app or face a US ban. The US House passed the legislation by a vote of 352-65 on March 13, citing national security risks. The bill now goes to the Senate. US President Joe Biden previously said he would sign the bill into law if it passes both houses of Congress. “I think the legislation should pass and I think [TikTok] should be sold,” Mnuchin, who leads Liberty Strategic Capital, told CNBC on March 14. “It’s a great business and I’m going to put together a group to buy TikTok.”

Corporations That Pay Their Executives More Than Uncle Sam

Corporate tax dodging and CEO pay have both gotten so far out of control that a significant number of major U.S. companies are paying their top executives more than they’re paying Uncle Sam. Tesla is perhaps the most dramatic example. Over the period 2018-2022, the electric car maker raked in $4.4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk became one of the world’s richest men. When it comes to fleecing taxpayers while overpaying executives, Tesla is hardly alone. A new report we co-authored for the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness analyzes executive pay data for some of the country’s most notorious corporate tax dodgers.

Fighting Wall Street’s War On Workers

One of the occupational hazards of being a labor activist is over-exposure to “corporate bullshit”—on the job, in the community, and in politics. When workers try to win collective bargaining rights, employers conduct propaganda campaigns to spread every imaginable falsehood about the union. Once forced into negotiations, management shows up at the bargaining table with a new line of BS about not being able to afford union wage demands or agree to a grievance procedure. And in the legislative-political arena, corporate interests have long used disinformation to thwart labor campaigns.

Corporate Ownership Of Media Has Failed Canadians

For-profit media ownership has decimated journalism in Canada and continues to gouge us with some of the highest prices in the world for telecommunications services such as cellular phones, cable TV and Internet access in order to meet the ever-greater profit expectations of their owners. The private equity players and US hedge funds that own most of our largest newspapers are now harvesting them for hundreds of millions in cash and stripping their assets, all the while complaining to Ottawa that they’re losing money and need subsidies. Postmedia Network, which owns 15 of our 21 largest dailies, has been laying off journalists relentlessly for the past 14 years in order to drain the company of more than $500 million in debt payments.

Report: Plastics, Oil Industry Deceived Public On Recycling Use

An explosive new report finds that the plastics industry has misled the public for decades about the viability of recycling plastic, promoting reuse despite the fact that mechanical recycling was not feasible – perpetuating the plastic waste crisis the world faces today. “The plastics industry has ‘sold’ plastic recycling to the American public to sell plastic,” according to the report by the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI), a nonprofit organization that advocates for legal action to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable. In a statement, CCI claims the study, called “The Fraud of Plastic Recycling: How Big Oil and the plastics industry deceived the public for decades and caused the plastic waste crisis,” includes “evidence that could provide the foundation for legal efforts to hold fossil fuel and other petrochemical companies accountable for their lies and deception.”

Wealthy Corporations Use Investment Agreements To Extract Millions From Developing Countries

When Rafael Correa entered Ecuador’s presidency in 2007, the nation faced an opportunity and a challenge. Ecuador’s economy depended on oil, and global crude prices were near a record high. Much of the oil was extracted by foreign companies, however, so as prices surged more wealth began flowing overseas. More than a third of Ecuadorians were living in poverty, and Correa had come to power as a leftist promising “radical, profound and quick changes to the current model of so much exploitation, of so much injustice.” Soon after taking office, Correa increased a recently enacted windfall tax on oil companies. The idea was to use the tax as leverage to extract better terms from the companies, and this fight against foreign firms quickly became a high-profile pillar of Correa’s broader campaign to assert the nation’s sovereignty.

Big Meat And Dairy Delegates Triple At COP28

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Lobbyists from industrial agriculture companies and trade groups have turned out in record numbers at COP28, which this year has a strong focus on tackling emissions from the food sector. Attendees are present from some of the world’s largest agribusiness firms – such as meatpacker JBS, fertiliser giant Nutrien, food giant Nestlé and pesticide firm Bayer – and powerful industry trade groups.  Meat and dairy interests are especially well represented with 120 delegates in Dubai, triple the number that attended COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Overall the analysis of the delegates list by DeSmog shows that the total number of people representing the interests of agribusiness has more than doubled since 2022 to reach 340.

New Report Contradicts Official Reason Behind Target Closings

Minneapolis, Minnesota — Data does not support Target’s claim that it’s closing stores due to theft, a new report finds — while others accuse the corporation of financial fraud, saying it is fudging its finances and falsely flagging shoplifters. Due to “organized retail theft,” Target announced in September that it was closing nine stores, along with three in Portland, Oregon that closed in October. The independent media watchdog Popular Information breaks down crime statistics at six of the nine stores Target is shuttering and found that there are other different reasons than the official one the retailer gave for the closures.

The Climate Culprits Hiding Their Role In California’s Extreme Weather

One of the nation’s most important climate fights is currently playing out under the radar in California, where state residents are weathering an unprecedented tropical storm. Oil and industry lobbying groups are spending millions in a last-ditch attempt to block first-of-its-kind legislation that would require thousands of large companies doing business in the state to fully disclose their carbon emissions, a move that would effectively set national policy. In the final weeks of California’s legislative session, which ends in mid-September, Assembly members are expected to vote on the climate transparency bill.

My Life In Corporate Medicine

I started medical school in 2011, full of idealism and optimism over the promise of Obamacare. But the health care system has gotten progressively worse every year that I’ve worked in it, probably because private equity firms keep acquiring new corners. The urgent care was an exception, it was part of a family business, founded by an emergency physician who actually cares about employees. When COVID came, they didn’t lay off a single full-timer even when volume fell off a cliff, probably in part because he was a big Trumper and was convinced the pandemic would “blow over” by the summer of 2020.

Corporate Cash Derails Train Safety Bill

The company that manufactured the toxic chemicals that were released and incinerated in the wake of the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment this winter gave $2 million to the primary Senate GOP super PAC as bipartisan rail safety legislation stalled in Congress. The manufacturer, Occidental Petroleum, has been lobbying on rail and tank car safety, and its lobbying group, the American Chemistry Council — which also donated $250,000 to the main House GOP super PAC — had pushed for changes weakening the bill in committee. The railroad legislation, introduced in the immediate aftermath of the East Palestine disaster, was once seen as the first real shot at imposing new regulations on the railroad industry in years.
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