Organic Consumers Association

White House Taking Tighter Control Over Regulatory Agencies

>From Spin of the Week 1.14.04
SOURCE: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 11, 2004


"Under a new proposal, the White House would decide what and when
the public would be told about an outbreak of mad cow disease, an
anthrax release, a nuclear plant accident or any other crisis," the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "The White House Office of
Management and Budget is trying to gain final control over release
of emergency declarations from the federal agencies responsible for
public health, safety and the environment. The OMB also wants to
manage scientific and technical evaluations ... of all major
government rules, plans, proposed regulations and pronouncements."
But former top agency officials and public interest groups oppose
OMB's proposal, saying it "could damage the federal system for
protecting public health and the environment." John Graham heads
the OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. In December
2001, the Washington Post reported that Graham had asked top trade
group lobbyists to compile a list of the regulations that they
found overly burdensome. "This was a secret campaign to circumvent
the process," an unnamed lobbyists told the Post. "With Graham in
that job, we figured we could get whatever we want." Before joining
the White House, Graham ran the industry-funded Harvard Center for
Risk Analysis.

SOURCE: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 11, 2004

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