August 4, 2012


Cass Sunstein's Resignation Encourages Advocates For Health And Safety (David Froomkin, 08/03/2012, Huffington Post)

Sunstein, who headed the White House's little-known but hugely powerful Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, also got a warm send-off from his immediate boss. White House Office of Management and Budget director Jeffrey Zients credited him with helping design "numerous rules that are, among other things, saving lives on the highways by making vehicles safer and reducing distracted driving; dramatically increasing the fuel economy of the nation's cars and trucks; protecting public health by reducing air pollution; making our food supply safer; and protecting against discrimination on the basis of disability and sexual orientation."

But that is a modest record in the context of the wholesale deregulation during the Bush/Cheney era and the unprecedented regulatory failures of the recent past: financial crisis; the BP oil spill; the Upper Big Branch mine explosion; a bevy of food- and toy-related health scares and the imminent dangers of climate change.

Critics said he did more damage than good. "That's small progress in comparison to the rules he killed," said Rena Steinzor, a law professor at the University of Maryland and president of the pro-regulation Center for Progressive Reform.

Steinzor credits Sunstein for killing or stalling critically important regulations proposed by Obama's cabinet agencies, including those intended to improve air quality, limit exposure to silica, and protect minors from dangerous agricultural work.

Steinzor also criticized some of the rules Sunstein ushered in, such as one that allows many poultry plants to speed up processing lines by eliminating federal inspectors.

"The track record is very bad," Steinzor said.

For the Left.
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Posted by at August 4, 2012 8:53 AM

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