NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Bush Not Challenging Clinton Regs

May 16, 2001

The Bush administration was severely criticized by activists for suggesting that last- minute environmental regulations pushed through by former President Clinton might be rescinded. Those who believe the regulations are extreme, would not stand up to cost-benefit scrutiny, or are based on junk science were hopeful. Unfortunately, many regulations with negative economic, environmental and health impacts are being allowed to stand, says environmental analyst Michael Fumento.

  • The administration was willing to let a regulation take effect that would put one-third of national forests off limits to road building (for fire prevention, recreation or logging purposes), with exceptions to be made later. But a federal judge last week struck down the rule, saying it poses "serious risks of irreparable harm."
  • The administration is reviewing a rule that would reduce the level of arsenic in drinking water that has been allowed for more than 50 years -- which could cost $605 million annually to avoid only three theoretical deaths from cancer -- at a cost of $200 million per potential life saved.
  • A new Environmental Protection Agency rule will subject small businesses to the reporting requirements of the misleadingly named Toxic Release Inventory for emissions of as little as 100 pounds of lead a year.

Critics say that not only did the Clinton administration ignore the huge costs involved in implementing such rules, it relied on junk science in coming up with them in the first place.

Source: Michael Fumento (Hudson Institute), "Midnight Madness: Contrary to Myth, Bush is Approving Clinton's Final Regs," Investor's Business Daily, May 15, 2001.


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