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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:17 AM
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Rolling Back the Regs
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from In These Times, via AlterNet:

Rolling Back the Regs

By Kari Lydersen, In These Times. Posted March 9, 2007.

The Bush administration is muscling its way past environmental protections by dictating how federal agencies interpret and enforce policies.

Emissions limits on coal-fired power plants, endangered species protections that inhibit logging, and restrictions on chemicals in drinking water have all been thorns in the side of the Bush administration.

But an executive order released on Jan. 18 with little fanfare could give the White House-controlled Office of Management and Budget (OMB) much greater control over such agencies as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

With the new Democratic majority in Congress, the Bush administration has less power to pass laws that weaken environmental protections, worker safety, public health standards and the like. Critics fear the White House will now carry out its political agenda by dictating how federal agencies can interpret and enforce policies.

The order could have devastating consequences for environmental protections, says Howard Learner, executive director of the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center.

"The Bush administration is now trying to do through administrative barriers and regulatory policies what it can't do through Congress," he says. "The administration has long been trying to change the Clean Air Act, forestry protections, and other environmental and natural resource statutes. The realignment of Congress clearly makes that more challenging. So they're turning to administrative processes that gum up the works." .....(more)

The complete piece is at: /

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