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Obama 42 articles

Seat belts on commercial buses, a new NHTSA regulation

Passenger seat belts will soon be a requirement on commercial buses – a measure that the National Transportation Safety Board has long advocated but didn’t have the authority to enforce. Yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has the legal authority to establish transportation safety standards, told Congress that it will require commercial motor coaches to have safety belts for their passengers. The new safety requirement comes after a series of fatal bus crashes that received national publicity. After analyzing the events surrounding a 2008 Utah bus rollover in which nine people died and 43 were injured, the NTSB ... Read More

Obama's pick for FDA commissioner wants to restore trust in agency

President Barack Obama’s top pick for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, Bioterrorsim expert and former New York City health commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, says that she wants to restore public confidence in the FDA, according to Boston.com. She already has Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s support. “Her expertise is valuable for problems we now face, such as combating food-borne illness, cooperating with other agencies to address the new flu outbreak and drug-resistant diseases, and protecting our food and drug supplies,” Sen. Kennedy said in a statement for the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing. If confirmed, one of Dr. ... Read More

Traumatic brain injuries become a priority in U.S. military

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are being taken much more seriously in the U.S. armed forces now than ever. Doctors and scientists estimate that as many as twenty percent of troops returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan have some form and degree of TBI, ranging from blast related concussions to blunt force trauma and penetrating wounds. Because the brain is the human body’s most complex and least understood organ, brain injuries have historically eluded diagnosis and treatment. Fortunately, our understanding of TBI, the “signature injury” of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, is rapidly improving. Members of the Air Force, Army, ... Read More

Preemption language must be removed from railroad regulations

The American Association for Justice is calling for a review of Bush administration regulations that it believes compromise the safety and rights of consumers who are injured in railroad accidents. The request was prompted by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee’s nomination hearing of Joseph Szabo as the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) new administrator. Though Szabo’s nomination is not controversial, many lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled Congress believe the regulations and policies put forth by the previous administration favor big business at an enormous expense to the consumer. Preemption is the problem. Preemption is the legal premise that federal law ... Read More

Public urgently needs better bus and trucking regulations

After analyzing the events surrounding a 2008 Utah bus rollover in which nine people died and 43 were injured, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that two situations fundamentally contributed to the deadly accident: driver fatigue and the lack of federal regulations to protect bus passengers. The American Association of Justice (AAJ) responded to the report by calling for a close review – and a possible revision – of federal transportation safety regulations proposed during the Bush Administration and currently pending. The AAJ released a statement saying that it supports opening “new rulemaking proceedings to enhance commercial transportation safety ... Read More

Safety advocates hopeful about future auto roof crush standards

Consumer and safety advocates nationwide are praising President Obama’s reported nomination of Chuck Hurley to serve as the next leader of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – the government agency that sets the standards for automobile roof crush strength. Actually, setting roof crush standards is not something the NHTSA has done much of since 1971 — the year it established the alarmingly weak standards that are still on the books today. Safety advocates hope that Hurley will overhaul the weak standards, which were written so many decades ago, by the auto companies and for the auto companies. Hurley has ... Read More

Obama administration focuses on clean coal practices

President Obama’s new energy policies are pitting mining companies and environmentalists against each other as the federal government explores new ways of storing carbon emissions. Mining companies and the lawmakers who support them say that establishing these new measures could cost billions while environmentalists say the price is not important in comparison to the ecological damage of continuing common practices. According to Kentucky.com, “The Department of Energy will soon announce whether it will use $1 billion in stimulus funds to resurrect FutureGen, a proposal to create in Illinois the world’s first coal-fired power plant designed to capture and bury carbon ... Read More

Hamburg, Sharfstein to head troubled FDA

The Obama administration has named two doctors to head up the much-criticized U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), individuals who are known for speaking out about public safety. Sources say Margaret Hamburg, a physician and former New York City health commissioner, was selected to run the agency with Joshua Sharfstein, of the Baltimore health commission, as her chief deputy, according to The Washington Post. Sharfstein made headlines in 2007 when he convinced the FDA to restrict the use of over-the-counter children’s cough and cold medicines based on evidence they can cause serious health complications and even death in children. If ... Read More

Lawmakers debate safety of importing drugs

Congress continues to debate the notion of allowing people to buy inexpensive drug from other countries, as the Obama administration is encouraging, but the stickler seems to be ensuring the safety of those imported drugs, according to Portfolio. Even on the campaign trail, Obama’s camp said it would support the plan but that there would have to be measures in place to ensure the FDA was properly inspecting the plants where drugs are being manufactured. After all, it was just one year ago that hundreds of people became ill and more than 80 died after receiving injections of the blood ... Read More

Obama administration vows to propose regulations for coal ash

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has promised to make good on a promise it made nine years ago to issue regulations for coal ash storage. The announcement comes more than two months after a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) impoundment pond failed and dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic coal ash on to 300 acres of east Tennessee property, destroying homes and damaging land in its wake. The Obama administration backed up the promise by vowing to propose new regulations governing coal combustion waste by the end of the year and acting immediately to ensure more dangerous spills do ... Read More