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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Right to Repair 2020 wrap-up: Notable wins as campaign advances | Nathan Proctor

A look at 2020 highlights and milestones for the campaign to fix our stuff, and a look ahead to 2021

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Government funding bill coverage: Resources and interview opportunities

A new bill that would fund the government through September 2021 and provide accompanying COVID-19 relief is awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature. While direct disbursements to Americans, many of whom are struggling with medical, utility and rent or mortgage payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have taken center stage, numerous other components of the budget bill will play a starring role for a long time to come. Many of the bill’s provisions will fund -- at varying levels -- key public health, environmental and consumer protection initiatives. The nonprofits U.S. PIRG and Environment America and their state affiliates have been leading voices on -- and drivers of -- policy in these areas for decades. As you continue your coverage of the varied aspects of the 5,600-page legislation, please consider contacting our experts for interviews or background information. Here are the experts available to interview on the these topics, either over the phone or via Zoom/Skype.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Year in review: public health, voters’ rights and consumer protection wins in 2020

Between a global pandemic, raging wildfires and severe hurricanes, 2020 has been a chaotic and difficult year. Hundreds of thousands of Americans lost their lives and millions took ill. But we persevered, as our community members, friends and family made sacrifices, both large and small. Through it all, U.S. PIRG has advocated on behalf of the public interest.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | COVID-19

U.S. PIRG statement on COVID-19 relief legislation

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are poised to pass legislation Monday that, if signed into law, would provide some financial relief to Americans and small businesses struggling during the pandemic, but would fail to adequately fund key virus-fighting tools. U.S. PIRG is urging Congress to pass additional legislation to pay for increased testing to control the virus. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Statement: U.S. PIRG cheers bipartisan Congressional vote to end unfair surprise medical bills

After two years of debate in four congressional committees, Congress seemed likely to pass bipartisan legislation Monday that, if signed into law, will protect millions of consumers from unfair surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers. In response to the expected congressional passage of the surprise billing legislation, Patricia Kelmar, U.S. PIRG’s Health Care Campaigns director, made the following statement: “If passed, this will be the most far-reaching consumer protection that Congress has passed in recent memory...

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News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

Money for nothing: Paying the same car insurance while driving less during the pandemic

While COVID-19 is causing financial difficulties for tens of millions of Americans, auto insurers nationwide have made tens of billions of dollars in profit because consumers have driven significantly less during the pandemic.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Federal regulators, states file antitrust lawsuits against Facebook

Statement: "U.S. PIRG welcomes the Facebook lawsuits by 48 state and territorial attorneys general and federal regulators."

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | COVID-19

Statement on President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 task force

President-elect Joe Biden has announced the group of top health experts who will advise the incoming administration on efforts to contain the novel coronavirus.  

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

CFPB Approves Modified Final Debt Collection Rule

On Friday, the CFPB released a modified final version of its Debt Collection Rule, although it delayed action until December on one of its most controversial provisions, allowing collection of  time-barred zombie debt. A statement by Consumer Program Associate Lucy Baker follows.

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News Release | U.S.PIRG | Financial Reform

CFPB Director: Stop Letting Industry Violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act

We've joined the National Consumer Law Center in a news release describing a letter from 21 consumer and faith groups urging her to revoke permission to the credit reporting industry to violate consumer protections. 

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Report | MontPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Volkswagen Settlement State Scorecard

Every state, with the exception of Florida, has now published its plan to spend the money being received as part of the Volkswagen emissions violations settlement. This scorecard grades each state’s plan on how well it is designed to take full advantage of the opportunity to invest in transportation electrification.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Blueprint For Tomorrow

Infrastructure is at the heart of America’s greatest challenges. The infrastructure investments made by generations past have contributed to improved health and welfare, and to the nation’s unparalleled economic prosperity. But the infrastructure decisions of the past have also cast a long shadow, leaving America to deal with the burden of lead water pipes that jeopardize our children’s health, fossil fuel pipelines that contribute to global warming, and transportation and solid waste infrastructure that no longer serve today’s needs.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Public Health

Glyphosate Pesticide in Beer and Wine

Roundup is everywhere. As the most commonly used agrichemical in the world, Roundup and its main active ingredient, glyphosate, is showing up in places people do not expect, such as food and drinks.1 In this report, we tested beer and wine and found glyphosate in beer and wine from the U.S., Europe, and Asia. We even found glyphosate in some unexpected places, such as in some organic varieties.

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Report | MontPIRG Citizen Advocate | Consumer Protection

Driving Into Debt

In much of America, access to a car is all but required to hold a job or lead a full and vibrant life. Generations of car-centric transportation policies – including lavish spending on roads, sprawl-inducing land use policies, and meager support for other modes of transportation – have left millions of Americans fully dependent on cars for daily living.

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Report | MontPIRG | Transportation

Climate Solutions from Day One

New governors are getting ready to take office in 20 states, from Florida to Alaska. As America’s newly elected governors prepare to take on their states’ biggest challenges, they should prioritize taking bold action on the greatest challenge of our time: climate change.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Should we fire the Big 3 credit bureaus? | Ed Mierzwinski

President-elect Biden's platform includes a proposal to replace the private credit bureaus with a public credit registry. Here's why it's a worthy idea.

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Blog Post | COVID-19

Is your state doing enough COVID-19 testing? | Patricia Kelmar

U.S. PIRG visited the state health department websites for all 50 states to assess testing requirements and availability of testing sites. 

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Blog Post | COVID-19

COVID-19 testing put to the test | Patricia Kelmar

Testing is an important tool to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, but it's important to know when and how to get tested. 

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Landmark E.U. votes advances Right to Repair | Anne Marie Green

What the latest move by the European Parliament means and how multiple approaches to advancing repair strengthen each other

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Blog Post | COVID-19

Number of people living on the streets could triple in the months ahead | Jacob van Cleef

Eviction moratoriums, unemployment benefits, student loan repayment reprieves are ending, homeless shelters aren't a good option and there's no more relief in sight.

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Blog Post | Public Health, Antibiotics

Why does agribusiness keep overusing antibiotics? Consider 'Pig Zero.'

"Don't wait for Pig Zero," declared the poster, featuring a pig peeking through a giant blue zero, that appeared at last year's swine industry trade show.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Claire's recalls more sparkly children's makeup after FDA finds asbestos

Like the teen star herself, Claire's JoJo Siwa Makeup Set is colorful, sparkly and shimmery—but it's now been found to contain asbestos.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Flying this summer? You'll want to know your rights.

Everybody knows somebody who has a "bad airline story" involving a long flight delay, sitting on the tarmac, being "bumped," losing baggage or some nightmare combination thereof.

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Blog Post | Antibiotics, Food

It's time for Wendy's to get antibiotics off the menu

 

The fast food chain Wendy's has a role to play in preventing a future in which antibiotics no longer work to protect our health.

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Blog Post | Food, Solid Waste

What a waste: At least 30% of trash could be composted instead of buried or burned

Each year, America landfills and incinerates enough organic material to fill a line of 18-wheelers stretching from New York to Los Angeles 10 times over.

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Blog Post

Shortages improved during the fall but worsened in December

News Release | US PIRG

A new analysis by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group found that 8 percent of nursing homes nationwide had a critical shortage of surgical-grade N95 masks, as of Dec. 27. And 4 to 6 percent of homes reported shortages in at least one other category of PPE.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger submitted her resignation Wednesday soon after the inauguration of new President Joe Biden. Resignation opens seat for President Biden’s new nominee Rohit Chopra.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

The number of U.S. deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic surpassed 400,000 on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

President-elect Joe Biden announced Monday that he intends to nominate Rohit Chopra as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director and Gary Gensler as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Financial Reform

Congressional override finally bans anonymous shell companies

From terrorist financing to Medicare fraud, anonymous shell companies have shielded the identities of wrongdoers and served as financial getaway cars for hiding dirty money. But in a historic override of a presidential veto, Congress has outlawed anonymous shell companies in the United States.

 

Health Care

Bipartisan bill to stop surprise medical billing becomes law

Americans will now be protected from surprise medical bills sent by out-of-network providers thanks to a new bipartisan law prohibiting "balance billing," where providers charge patients the difference between their fees and the maximum allowed by the patient's insurance.

 

Consumer Protection

General Motors recalls 7 million vehicles with exploding Takata airbags

The automaker announced it will recall 7 million large pickup trucks and SUVs built with potentially explosive Takata airbags, which have forced the recall of tens of millions of vehicles in the last 12 years and killed 18 people.

 

Consumer Tips

'Fixed for the Holidays' guide helps consumers save on refurbished electronics

Looking for a phone, laptop or tablet this holiday season? U.S. PIRG's guide gives consumers the scoop on refurbished electronics for Black Friday prices.

 

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