From the Washington Post today:
A Last Push to Deregulate
The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January.
The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms.
Those and other regulations would help clear obstacles to some commercial ocean-fishing activities, ease controls on emissions of pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking-water standards and lift a key restriction on mountaintop coal mining.
Once such rules take effect, they typically can be undone only through a laborious new regulatory proceeding, including lengthy periods of public comment, drafting and mandated reanalysis.
Bush is going to be like your X-boyfriend/X-girlfriend. You’ve already had the fight, you regret saying some of the things that came out of your mouth, you’re still pissed off at the whole thing and you feel hurt that you’re back to being single again. It’s that time when your X won’t get the hell out of your apartment and you’re still seeing him/her everyday…you’re sharing the remote… and-the-bitch-just-won’t-move-out!
It wasn’t enough to de-regulate the Savings and Loan Industries, to de-regulate the Airline Industry, nor was it enough to deregulate the Banking Industry! Bush is determined to prove this “compassionate conservatism” by going on ahead with deregulating other industries that have not yet gone defunct!
“They want these rules to continue to have an impact long after they leave office,” said Matthew Madia, a regulatory expert at OMB Watch, a nonprofit group critical of what it calls the Bush administration’s penchant for deregulating in areas where industry wants more freedom. He called the coming deluge “a last-minute assault on the public . . . happening on multiple fronts.”
White House spokesman Tony Fratto said: “This administration has taken extraordinary measures to avoid rushing regulations at the end of the term. And yes, we’d prefer our regulations stand for a very long time — they’re well reasoned and are being considered with the best interests of the nation in mind.”
They admit freely an unabashedly: “We want to be the tattoo you wish you never had!”
…the administration has begun to issue regulations of great interest to industry, including, in recent days, a rule that allows natural gas pipelines to operate at higher pressures and new Homeland Security rules that shift passenger security screening responsibilities from airlines to the federal government. The OMB also approved a new limit on airborne emissions of lead this month, acting under a court-imposed deadline.
One rule, being pursued over some opposition within the Environmental Protection Agency , would allow current emissions at a power plant to match the highest levels produced by that plant, overturning a rule that more strictly limits such emission increases. According to the EPA’s estimate, it would allow millions of tons of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, worsening global warming.
A related regulation would ease limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants near national parks.
A third rule would allow increased emissions from oil refineries, chemical factories and other industrial plants with complex manufacturing operations.
These rules “will force Americans to choke on dirtier air for years to come, unless Congress or the new administration reverses these eleventh-hour abuses,” said lawyer John Walke of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Let’s all remember that it was Michele Bachmann who complained that the Big Financial Debacle was a direct result in “Hyper-Regulations“! So, she’ll be front and center talking about how good of a job Bush is doing with this more recent act of an American Terrorist President.