By David Michaels
The Wall Street Journal (sub required) is reporting that the White House will bypass the Senate confirmation process and announce later today that President Bush has given a recess appointment to Susan Dudley to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). The office, part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), oversees all of the Administration’s regulatory and especially anti-regulatory activities. (Some background on President Bush’s efforts to get her confirmed are here and here).
Public Citizen and OMB Watch have compiled an extensive collection of Ms. Dudley’s outrageous and dangerous positions in The Cost Is Too High: How Susan Dudley Threatens Public Protections. The report concludes:
Susan Dudley’s nomination is a threat to the health and safety of the public and the protection of the environment. Her extremist anti-regulatory ideology served well the Mercatus Center’s corporate funders, but it would not serve well the American public. For the reasons detailed in this report, Susan Dudley should not be OIRA administrator. In words Dudley herself would surely understand, the cost is too high.
This is a particularly unfortunate development. With no election to prepare for, and no electorate to be concerned about, the White House will now do its best to permanently cripple the federal system designed to protect the public’s health and environment.
Wrapping up this post, I’d usually say something like “buckle your seat belts, its going to be a wild ride,” but with Susan Dudley running OIRA, I expect the White House to try to roll back even the most accepted and successful safety regulations.
David Michaels heads the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy (SKAPP) and is Professor and Associate Chairman in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.