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You don’t hear it outside the Beltway, but there’s a constant roar inside Washington these days.
With time running out on the Bush presidency, wrecking balls are swinging and bulldozers are growling at full throttle as George W and crew rip through federal agencies to knock down as many regulations as they can. At the behest of their corporate cronies, the Bushites have targeted more than 90 regulations that protect consumers, workers, and our environment from corporate greed and carelessness.
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One example is a last-minute change in the Clean Air Act to benefit pollution-spewing utilities, allowing utilities to pump an additional 74-million tons of CO2 into our atmosphere. That’s the equivalent amount of pollutants that 14 additional coal-fired power plants would emit.
To help rush through such industry-friendly changes, agency heads are arbitrarily curtailing public participation in the process and trying to circumvent requirements for scientific review. For example, in rigging the Clean Air Act for utilities, the scientific analysis justifying the change was so weak that the analysis was simply not put out for public comment.
But, wait – what’s that other sound coming out of Washington? Why it’s the welcome hum of presidential transition!
While the Bushites have been frantically wrecking the regulatory structure to enhance corporate interests, President-elect Barack Obama has quietly been laying plans to restore the regulatory balance to enhance the public interest. He has pulled together a transition team of four dozen experts, and they’ve been studying the regulatory favors that Bush has done for his political backers. Already, the team has identified some 200 of these overtly-political regs that Obama can quickly reverse after his inauguration.
It looks like Obama and his team are going to come into office wearing tool belts and ready to get right to work repairing the wreckage.
“Obama team plans to roll back Bush Actions,” Austin American Statesman, November 9, 2008.
“Bush Rolls Back Regulations,” www.thinkprogress.org, November 10, 2008.