For all of those folks counting down the minutes until George W. Bush leaves office you can rest assured you are not alone. Washington’s business lobby has its eye on that clock, and anticipating Democratic gains, is pushing the Administration for some last minute goodies. The Sunday New York Times highlighted some of the hopes and aspirations of the friends of W as he leaves office. What might some of those “favors” be?
Hoping to lock in policies backed by a pro-business administration, poultry farmers are seeking an exemption for the smelly fumes produced by tons of chicken manure. Businesses are lobbying the Bush administration to roll back rules that let employees take time off for family needs and medical problems. And electric power companies are pushing the government to relax pollution-control requirements.
I refuse to make the obvious joke that comes to mind with regards to chicken manure, so lets move on. What else is on the wish list?
At the Interior Department, coal companies are lobbying for a regulation that would allow them to dump rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations into nearby streams and valleys. It would be prohibitively expensive to haul away the material, they say, and there are no waste sites in the area. Luke Popovich, a vice president of the National Mining Association, said that a Democratic president was more likely to side with “the greens.”
What do the “greens” say.
A coalition of environmental groups has condemned the proposed rule, saying it would accelerate “the destruction of mountains, forests and streams throughout Appalachia.”
What else you ask. Well there is more.
At the Transportation Department, trucking companies are trying to get final approval for a rule increasing the maximum number of hours commercial truck drivers can work. And automakers are trying to persuade officials to set new standards for the strength of car roofs — standards far less stringent than what consumer advocates say is needed to protect riders in a rollover.
Naturally the Bush EPA is involved in formulating some new regs.
On another issue, the Environmental Protection Agency is drafting final rules that would allow utility companies to modify coal-fired power plants and increase their emissions without installing new pollution-control equipment.
The Edison Electric Institute, the lobby for power companies, said the companies needed regulatory relief to meet the growing demand for “safe, reliable and affordable electricity.”
Quite an agenda, and I have not listed all of the publicly discussed items referenced. These last minute regulations cannot be waived away by a new President, as George W. Bush found when he took office. Democrats need to be focused on the most noxious of these potential regs. with an eye towards blocking or setting the stage for potential reversal in 2009. Read the
New York Times article at this link.