Yet again, it appears that Bush will nominate a pro-industry, anti-people shill for a very important post. Does he even know anybody who isn't a completely selfish, amoral individual who might actually think about what is happening to this planet? Apparently not.
In fact, according to Frank O'Donnell of cleanairwatch.org, Susan Dudley makes the current head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, John Graham, "look like Ralph Nader." This, despite the fact that Graham has "demonstrated consistent hostility to protections for public health, safety, and the environment over his career." Graham, who was criticized by public interest groups, recently left this position. The link for O'Donnell's blog is here: [http://blogforcleanair.blogspot.com/...]
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is "an obscure branch of the government with a lot of power: it oversees the actions of federal regulatory agencies such as the EPA." This obscure branch, unfortunately, has not-so-obscure impact on the environment and health of the citizens of our country by setting regulatory policy on a very wide range of issues.
Susan Dudley comes to Washington from the Mercatus Center,
"a corporate-funded front group that calls itself a 'think tank.' It helps provide propaganda cover for the oil industry and other big polluters."
I attempted to read the transcript of testimony she gave to Congress, which is here: [http://epw.senate.gov/...]
Testimony of Susan E. Dudley
Before the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property and Nuclear Safety Committee on Environment and Public Works April 24, 1997
At the time this was given, she was the Vice President and Director of Environmental Analysis at Economists Incorporated, a consulting firm in Washington, DC. The report is difficult to wade through, because she is very adept at making unreasonable statements seem reasonable. In particular, I was appalled at her claim that if the EPA demanded improvement in the air quality, it would deplete the smog that was protecting people from developing malignant melanoma. Interesting logic. She basically argued that if the smog was increasing breathing problems for people with asthma, they should just stay inside, because it would cut into the profit margins of corporations if they had to worry about EVERYONE'S health. It is scary that there are people in the world like her who claim to be scientists.
She is also listed as a paid contributor to Exxon-Mobil's funding of climate change skeptics by the group exxonsecrets.org.
At the Mercatus Center, Dudley has been busy criticizing various EPA rules and proposals. Dudley:
Opposed EPA plans to set tougher public health standards for smog. Argued Dudley: "Non-regulatory approaches, including public health advisories and other targeted approaches, would be more effective at addressing the health effects of concern." In other words, her solution was to have kids with asthma stay indoors and suck on inhalers rather than try to clean up the air.
Opposed the idea of lower-polluting cars and SUVs and cleaner gasoline. (She was overtly hawking a discredited oil industry position.)
Even opposed advanced air bags in cars - and had nice things to say about arsenic in drinking water! These comments, and more, are available at [http://www.mercatus.org/...]
I agree with O'Donnell's assumption that
Dudley will be so controversial that I'd bet President Bush gives her a "recess appointment" - DC jargon for saying he'll put her in office while Congress is on vacation to prevent an embarrassing confirmation battle in the Senate.