November 17, 2011

Obama's ozone decision "shows the clout of Cass R. Sunstein..."

"... the legal powerhouse who serves, mostly behind the scenes, as the president’s regulatory czar with the mission of keeping the costs of regulation under control."

John M. Broder in the NYT:
Mr. Sunstein had his pick of jobs in the new administration. He chose the obscure regulatory affairs office as a potential laboratory for his sometimes iconoclastic views. He has challenged the utility of command-and-control-style federal regulation and has written favorably of programs to “name and shame” polluters as a way of getting them to clean up their operations without enforcement actions or fines. He has sought creative ways to encourage responsible economic and environmental behavior without using the heavy hand of the state.
Mr. Sunstein never really warmed to the proposed ozone rule, not least because it would, by law, be subject to revision again in 2013. He also noted that in nearly half of the E.P.A.’s own case studies, the cost of the new rule would outweigh the benefits, raising additional alarms....

“There was always a notion that they were looking for a regulation to use as an example of the reform initiative, a poster child, and this was potentially it,” said a senior E.P.A. official who asked not to be identified on a matter involving discussions with the White House. “We knew one was coming. We just didn’t know which one.”

19 comments:

Jay said...

The full retreat on the smog standard was the first and most important environmental decision of the presidential campaign season that is now fully under way

Oh, so the "sort of a God, above it all" President makes policy decisions based on political calculations!??

At least he has a nice crease in his pants!

traditionalguy said...

A full crock of it for NYT readers to analyse and feel that some intelligence operates somewhere in Obama's White House.

I quick precis of the article is: A death sentence to US industrial production that has not already been driven overseas was postponed until mid November 2012.

As the Party that raised Obama likes to say, " One step backwards two steps forward."

Mark O said...

Gag. Pfffft. Eeerk.

madAsHell said...

We have regulations to protect Gaia!!

LOOK!! A unicorn!

MadisonMan said...

I don't mean to hijack this thread with this off-topic post, and maybe I should say this in the Walker/Doctor thread below, but I just saw the official dance moves for the coming anti-Walker flashmob in Madison and Ay yi yi. I won't link, but it's on youtube.

The person who rewrote the lyrics should not claim ownership of that dreck.

MadisonMan said...

(Warning: Once you see it, it can't be unseen).

David said...

Obama postponed this decision, just like the Keystone pipeline. Those regs are still out there, and if O wins in 2012 they will be imposed.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

My kid sister worked as a groundwater geologist for the State of Pennsylvania for more than a quarter-century. Much of her work involved EPA enforcement, in which she was able to maintain a 100% compliance rate without ever once having to litigate.

She did it by helping the "polluters" understand the core purposes of the regulations and then showing them very practical, low-cost ways to comply.

In one case, a family coal mine about to be shut down, she distilled a three-inch stack of regulations to this: "Put the coal in the trucks, and everything else into a big windrow along the XXX-foot contour."

The chief problem with American regs of all sorts these days is that they're far too specific and not really goal oriented. That is probably because most regulatory inspectors and enforcers don't have either the technical knowledge or the communication skills to help people comply.

All they can do is run down a checklist of pointless specifics which must be applied slavishy in each, every, and all situations, regardless of the results.

Carol_Herman said...

I think I see through this "ozone."

Cass Sunstein's "rulings" ... dealing with the E.P.A. Which is the "Energy" powerhorse ... Is the agency Rick Perry couldn't remember he wanted to geld.

There's a bigger question.

Obama's overall job performance has been to enrich his friends. PERIOD. He's got no interests in anything else for his "working agenda."

What he got, was to live in a nice building. With catering. And, when he travels anywhere by road, he can shoot through red lights.

The emphasis on HOW he does it ... is on the right track!

But just don't overload on ozone.

Algore's global trip to taxing carbon has fallen into a ditch.

The EURO is in a ditch.

And, what we do not know is why the American bankers went out and sponged up most of the EURO's toxic debts. As if our banks didn't have enough of their own making,with toxic mortgages.

I guess we know where the stimulus went.

But it seems nobody's going to go to jail.

Among our other handicaps is that a lawyer can see to it that a case lasts for dozens of years. And, that's the part that makes the least sense.

How did we go and strangle our laws so much ... that it takes so much time for "justice" to stop screwing around?

Jhn1 said...

Hmmm
For one example, it used to cost about $100,000,000 to got a new drug developed, approved,and to market. Since Sunstien's FDA revisions, it will cost $350,000,000.
That seems to be his operational manner with every industry not wise enough to relocate out of the USA. Flapping the lips about job creation doesn't trump actions againg every non chrony employer.

KenK said...

Sunstein is creepy. A obscene hybrid of a B.F. Skinner type behaviorist with a bar association card.

edutcher said...

Sunstein is Cap & Trade Czar.

And that's without Congress' approval.

Ain't it wunnerful living under the Bolshies?

Henry said...

That is one of the most boring articles I've ever started to read. Instead of science or law we get third-rate Bob Woodward pablum.

cubanbob said...

KenK said...
Sunstein is creepy. A obscene hybrid of a B.F. Skinner type behaviorist with a bar association card.

11/17/11 10:11 AM
edutcher said...
Sunstein is Cap & Trade Czar.

And that's without Congress' approval.

Ain't it wunnerful living under the Bolshies?

11/17/11 10:18 AM

Not only that but his wife is the execrable National Security Council advisor Samantha Powers.

Pastafarian said...

From the article: "He (Obama) told Ms. Jackson that she would have an opportunity to revisit the Clean Air Act standard in 2013..."

So just wait for the second term, and then Katy-bar-the-fucking-door. We'll give it to those Republicans and fatcats long, hard, and deep in 2013.

This moment paid for by the Newt Gingrich for President Committee, Althouse commentariat division, Pastafarian, assistant minion.

edutcher said...

cubanbob said...

edutcher said...
Sunstein is Cap & Trade Czar.

And that's without Congress' approval.

Ain't it wunnerful living under the Bolshies?



Not only that but his wife is the execrable National Security Council advisor Samantha Powers.


IIRC, didn't she buy him from his current wife, Julia Roberts-style?

valjean said...

If you'd like to plumb the depths of the bottomless intelligence of Mr. Sunstein, I'd highly recommend his embarrassing 2002 work "republic.com" in which he forcefully argues for a revival of the Fairness Doctrine ... for websites.

Really. Among other brilliance.

As in, the government would require a prominent link on Althouse to, say, moveon.org. Y'know, for a balanced view.

Sunstein is a beltway-soaked, technocratic dimwit with academic credentials as long as your arm. Perfect for this administration.

Methadras said...

Talk about the Wizard of Oz syndrome.

Peter said...

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

“She did it by helping the "polluters" understand the core purposes of the regulations and then showing them very practical, low-cost ways to comply.”

And how would one apply that to regulation of CO2?

Accepting the core purpose here requires one to accept that human activities are the prime mover behind global warming, and also that reduction of emissions here will be significant even without the cooperation of China or India.

And what low-cost ways could there be to comply- do without carbon-based fuels?

With regulation of CO2, enviroligion comes full circle: Since human life is impossible without exhaling this “pollutant,” one must conclude that “all have sinned”

And the EPA shall declare,
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable”

Surely, this is an Established religion?