A while back I cross posted an article from my blog about the Bush Administration secretly trying to loosen enviormental controls on exposures to chemicals and atmospheric toxins. Though I did not recieve alot of responses or comments here, I was pleasantly surprised when at the blog site I had a few responses from Occupational Health Nurses, my collegues so to speak as I too am an Occupational Health Nurse, which were appreciative of the article. Today I find another disturbing Bush/Cheney back door sneak attack to create bigger loop holes for corperations to short change the public, and not be held accountable if you or another member of your inner personal circle are killed or injured because GM or Ford wanted to leave out a few safety devices like say......back seat seatbelts.
So in the great tradition of Chinese manufacturing Bush is trying to make rules that the next Administration won't find so easy to overturn to allow corperations escape any consumer liability. You'd think he had learned something about how dangerous deregulation was from the financial sector, but it seems not.
More after the fold:
In a story in today's Wall Street Journal, there is an outline of George Bush's plan to almost exempt companies fro product safety suits. In this plan, not only would certain federal regulations be rewritten, but language aimed at pre-empting product liability suits would also be included in the rules. The final action on these changes awaits the outcome of a Supreme Court case that will be heard next month involving the principals of pre-emption.
This year, lawsuit-protection language has been added to 10 new regulations, including one issued Oct. 8 at the Department of Transportation that limits the number of seatbelts car makers can be forced to install and prohibits suits by injured passengers who didn't get to wear one.
Imagine not being able to secure a child safety seat in the back of your car because automobile makers decided the cushion of the front seat was all passengers in the back seats needed. To make matters worse, the next President might not be able to reverse those rules so easily because;
These new rules can't quickly be undone by order of the next president. Federal rules usually must go through lengthy review processes before they are changed. Rulemaking at the Food and Drug Administration, where most of the new pre-emption rules have appeared, can take a year or more.
In my previous diary I had noted that Clinton prior to leaving office had signed a lot of safety regulations that applied to the work place and were much needed. George Bush within his first week in office nullified those regulations and appointed agency managers that represented the corporations that these agencies were supposed to regulate. One of the worst offenses Bush committed in this area IMHO was he immediately deregulated the OSHA requirements for crane safety, and over the past several years we have seen the tragic results of that. Just like his deregulation of the financial sector. Jay Leftkowitz, a domestic policy advisor to Bush noted these pre-emptive changes were discussed early on in the Administration. Rather then try to amend rules through Congress;
Mr. Lefkowitz said the administration decided not to press its pre-emption agenda in Congress, where it might lose. "There was already authority within federal government statutes and regulations to start the reform process without legislation," he said. "Using that and legal briefs, we proceeded."
This however leaves one to wonder just how legal this is. To this writer it is very reminiscent of those "broad range of Presidential powers" claimed by the Oval office that are in direct conflict with the Constitution. Either way, George Bush and Company are looking for one last way to screw the citizens of this country, which leaves me to ask since he has so closely aligned himself with the Bush regime. Where does John McSame stand on these issues? That bears further inquiry, rather then some long ago association his opponent had with Bill Ayers.
For those of you that have the time, it might not be a waste to contact your Congressman and Senator to see if they can stop this back door knifing of the population in the back. As an Occupational Health Nurse I try to ensure worker safety, however it becomes impossible for me to keep workers healthy when the government forgoes its regulatory responsibility, looking down on the population as corporate interests do as cheap parts easily replaced designed to consume and manufacture their unsafe faulty products.