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Bush Nominates Anti-Regulatory Zealot To Head ‘Super-Powerful’ Public Safety Office

By Rohan Mascarenhas  

"Bush Nominates Anti-Regulatory Zealot To Head ‘Super-Powerful’ Public Safety Office"

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President Bush is expected to nominate Susan Dudley as the next head of an obscure but “super-powerful office that oversees many business regulations.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs holds sway over federal regulatory agencies like the EPA and helps set regulatory policy for a wide range of issues, from workplace safety to water quality.

The most recent head, John Graham, has “demonstrated consistent hostility to protections for public health, safety and the environment over his career.” And according to Frank O’Donnell of Clean Air Watch, Dudley “makes John Graham look like Ralph Nader.”

As the director of regulatory studies at the industry-backed Mercatus Center she has worked to oppose vital public health regulation as a “hidden tax” that hinders profits. Some of her targets:

Opposed EPA plans to set tougher public health standards for smog.

Opposed lower-polluting cars and SUVs and cleaner gasoline.

Opposed air bags in cars, preferring to leave public safety decisions “to the market place.”

Opposed stronger regulations for arsenic in drinking water, claming that there “is a wide range of uncertainty in the science surrounding the health effects of arsenic in U.S. drinking water supplies.”

Opposed measures to curb global warming, stating that the “evidence regarding global warming and human contribution to it is mixed, and…if a slight warming does occur, historical evidence suggests it is likely to be beneficial, occurring at night, in the winter, and at the poles. Taking ‘precautionary action’ to protect human health based on a series of tenuous linkages would likely create a new set of risks.”

Not surprisingly, Exxon Mobil has donated $80,000 to Dudley’s think tank.

UPDATE: The global warming document that opposed measures to curb global warming was written by a Mercatus colleague of Susan Dudley, not by Dudley herself. We regret the error.

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