Thursday, June 29, 2006

Anti-regulatory zealot in line to become Bush regulatory Czarina

  • Anti-regulatory zealot to be Bush regulatory Czarina: This will be under the radar for many people, but it is very significant news. We are informed that the Bush administration is planning to appoint a true anti-regulatory zealot to become its regulatory Czarina.

    The person in question is one Susan Dudley, currently head of the Regulatory Studies Program at the Mercatus Center. (The center is a corporate-funded front group that calls itself a “think tank.” It helps provide propaganda cover for the oil industry and other big polluters.)

    Dudley is in line to become the head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs – an obscure branch of the government with a lot of power: it oversees the actions of federal regulatory agencies such as the EPA.

    You may recall that public interest groups had been critical of John Graham, who recently left this job.

    Well, Susan Dudley makes John Graham look like Ralph Nader,

    A couple of examples, then you can decide for yourself:

    At the Mercatus Center, Dudley has been busy criticizing various EPA rules and proposals. Dudley:

    Opposed EPA plans to set tougher public health standards for smog. Argued Dudley: “Non-regulatory approaches, including public health advisories and other targeted approaches, would be more effective at addressing the health effects of concern.” In other words, her solution was to have kids with asthma stay indoors and suck on inhalers rather than try to clean up the air.

    Opposed the idea of lower-polluting cars and SUVs and cleaner gasoline. (She was overtly hawking a discredited oil industry position.)

    Even opposed advanced air bags in cars – and had nice things to say about arsenic in drinking water! These comments, and more, are available at,type.1/people_link.asp

Dudley will be so controversial that I’d bet President Bush gives her a “recess appointment” – DC jargon for saying he’ll put her in office while Congress is on vacation to prevent an embarrassing confirmation battle in the Senate.

“Senator Smog” Surrenders (for now): The Associated Press is out this morning with a story that Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) will cease and desist – at least for now – in his campaign to block pollution standards for lawn mowers.

For years Bond (or “Senator Smog,” as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch calls him) has been fronting for the Briggs & Stratton Corporation. This news should clear the way for EPA to permit California to proceed with its plan to require cleaner small engines. (There is an EPA hearing on this today. For our comments, go to ).
Bond appeared to leave open the option that he would oppose national standards.

We will continue to monitor this. Small engines are a big source of smog. They can and should be cleaned up – not just in California, but in the entire nation.

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