There's nothing like going out with a bang.
The Washington Post reports that in its last few weeks, the Bush administration is working on a set of federal regulations that would weaken existing government rules that protect consumers and the environment.
The article says that these rules would lessen restrictions on private industry, including power plants, mines, and farms, and would be difficult for the next president to undo.
As many as 90 new rules are in the works, and they include new regulations concerning employees who take family- and medical-related leaves, new standards for preventing or containing oil spills, and a simplified process for settling real estate transactions, according to the article.
Matthew Madia, a regulatory expert at OMB Watch, a nonprofit group, is quoted in the article: "They want these rules to continue to have an impact long after they leave office." He added that the activity was "a last-minute assault on the public...happening on multiple fronts."
Many of the rules on the table would affect environmental regulations.
Two almost-complete rules would ease limits on pollution from power plants--an issue that has been a major energy industry focus for the past eight years.
The Environmental Protection Agency is offering some opposition to one rule, according to the article, that would allow current emissions at a power plant to match the highest levels produced by the plant. This would overturn a rule that limits such emissions increases.
The EPA estimates this rule change would allow millions of tons of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually.
John Walke of the Natural Resources Defense Council said in the article that these rules "will force Americans to choke on dirtier air for years to come, unless Congress or the new administration reverses these eleventh-hour abuses."
The Post points out that Congress is currently out of session and focused on the elections.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.