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[greenyes] Motives of Bush Administration Rule-Making Questioned


SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/216007_regs15.html

Bush uses rule book to roll back protections
Easing hand of government -- or a payoff to corporations?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

By CHARLES POPE
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

WASHINGTON -- Since taking office more than four years ago, the Bush
administration has quietly pushed ahead with a broad, largely successful
effort that has resulted in a major overhaul of protections to health,
safety and the environment.

The strategy has been to use regulation, decree and rule making to achieve
what Congress has blocked.

The White House says it is satisfying a campaign pledge to ease the hand of
government from people and businesses. Critics insist it is nothing more
than a payoff to corporate interests and campaign supporters.

The exercise is exemplified by new rules to be issued today by the
Environmental Protection Agency on mercury emissions from power plants. The
rules, which critics say are a boon to industry and shortchange
environmental concerns, were part of legislation that was killed in a
congressional committee just last week.

"They understand that what they're doing would violate the values of 80
percent of the American population," Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., said of the
strategy. "Most of these regulatory changes would not survive in Congress
because the public will is against them."

The practice is not new -- previous administrations used the same tactic.
But the Bush administration has raised it to new level, lobbyists, lawmakers
and others said.

"We almost wax nostalgic about the Reagan years because this White House is
so brazen and so bold," said Robert Shull, an analyst with OMB Watch, a
non-partisan group promoting open and accountable government.

Officially, the White House initiative is supposed to help U.S.
manufacturers stay competitive by weeding out regulations that are
ineffective, duplicative or whose costs are greater than the benefits they
provide.

But critics say the effort is nothing more than a "hit list" of regulations
that have long been targets of business interests, including some of the
most effective and tested measures that have protected millions of Americans
at home, in the workplace and from environmental dangers.

_________________________
Peter Anderson, President
RECYCLEWORLDS CONSULTING
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell: (608) 698-1314
eMail: anderson@no.address
web: www.recycleworlds.net

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