Friday Briefing

Polls finds Americans’ views mixed about business regulation. A national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that 52 percent of those polled believe that government regulation of business usually does more harm than good. The outlook was different, however, when questions were asked about specific industries. Large majorities said they wanted to maintain or even strengthen federal regulations in food production, environmental protection, automobile safety and other areas. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

Drug industry lobbyists block Oklahoma bills sought by narcotics agents and prosecutors to crack down on methamphetamine. Two bills were killed in separate House and Senate committees that would have limited access to a key ingredient of the powerful stimulant,¬†pseudoephedrine, by requiring a doctor’s prescription to buy the medicine in tablet form. Drug industry opponents — joined by some medical, pharmacy and supermarket groups — have cited extra costs and inconvenience for law-abiding consumers. Related measures have stalled this year in Hawaii and California, and were stopped last year in Maine and Missouri. The Associated Press

West Virginia regulators cite three mine officials and issue 253 violations in Upper Big Branch mine disaster. A state investigation concluded that poor ventilation, inadequate cleanup of coal dust and a routine failure to fix safety problems led to the April 2010 explosion that killed 29 workers, the worst U.S. coal mine disaster in four decades. State inspectors issued citations to two mine foremen, alleging that they neglected to have coal dust cleaned up, and they are seeking to revoke the mining license of a third mine employee, who was not immediately identified. The report came one day after federal prosecutors charged one of the mine’s superintendents with conspiring to violate safety laws and cover up hazards. The Charleston Gazette

Enterprise switches stance and backs federal law that would require recalled rental cars to be fixed. The nation’s biggest auto rental company made its announcement after Cally Houck, the mother of two daughters who died in a recalled car rented from Enterprise, launched a petition drive earlier this week calling on Enterprise to drop its opposition to the law. A law championed by Sen. Boxer, D.-California, and Sen. Schumer, D.-N.Y. would give federal regulators authority to stop companies from renting out cars that are subject to federal safety recalls until after they are repaired. ABC News

Wrongful death suit filed against NFL. The family of former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson claimed in the suit that the league didn’t do enough to prevent or treat the concussions that severely damaged his brain before he killed himself at age 50 last year. The suit also names helmet maker Riddell Inc., alleging that the helmets didn’t adequately protect players. It was filed less than a week after 11 former NFL players living in Louisiana sued the NFL over their concussions. The Associated Press

Workplace safety regulators accuse Wisconsin grain cooperative of failing to protect employees from falls.  The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration charged the Evansville, Wis., operation of Landmark Services Cooperative with a willful violation, its most severe offense, and proposed fines of $70,000. The agency said its investigation, following a complaint, found that co-op employees were working on top of rail cars without fall protection. OSHA

Recalls: Porsche Cayenne SUVs, Nissan 2012 Murano and Rogue vehicles, Kawasaki 2008-12 Ninja models, ECHO backpack blowers, SolarBlend roof tiles, non-alcoholic malta beverages, Phenylephrine HCl injections

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein

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