President Obama halts the Bush Administration's "Midnight Regulations"


by The Environmentalist Staff

Shortly after his inauguration, President Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, issued an order halting all regulations signed by President Bush that were still pending review.
One of President Barack Obama's first acts as president was to order federal agencies to halt all pending regulations until his administration can review them.

The order went out Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Obama was inaugurated president, in a memorandum signed by new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.
The so-called "midnight regulations" were orders signed by President Bush that included oil leases on public land, the weakening of environmental regulations, reversal of endangered species regulations (wolves), and many other last minute gifts to friends and cronies that set the environmental and land-owners in general to howl in protest.

• A finalized rule effectively deregulates industrial farms so that they can discharge animal waste into waterways.

• An adopted rule opens up public land to drilling preliminary to the development of oil shale extraction.

• A proposed rule provides for a conscience clause for workers at hospitals receiving federal money (particularly state hospitals), allowing them to refuse to perform abortions or dispense contraceptives.

• Several other rules have already been adopted, including one increasing truck drivers' maximum hours of service to eleven and another restricting employee time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The rules have attracted considerable criticism.

One student, Tim DeChristopher, went so far as to bid for the land at hurried Bureau of Land Management auction (without having sufficient funds to buy them) in an effort to put the proverbial spanner in the works and delay their sale until President Obama could get into office to do just what he did today -- put a stop to all the orders still under review. The student is now dealing with his own legal costs.

Robert Redford and the NRDC have also worked to stop a land lease (grab) in Utah. Continued...