George W. Bush is president for 11 more weeks, and the White House is plotting to use that time to modify federal regulations to weaken protections for consumers and the environment. The deregulatory initiatives would be some of the most controversial of the Bush era, reports the Washington Post, lifting constraints on such things as drinking water, gas pipelines, power plant emissions, and commercial fishing.
Lobbyists representing everything from the scallop industry to kidney dialysis companies have been swarming the White House to plead for quick action, fearing a less industry-friendly administration after Jan. 20. Up to 90 new regulations are being planned, although it's unclear if the administration will finish them all in time; the Post notes that many of the Clinton administration's last-minute rules changes missed the deadline, and were overturned by incoming Bushies the day after the inauguration.
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