Rumors of a Regulatory Foe at OIRA

Update: Lutter Confirmed at OIRA.

As reported by Rena Steinzor at the Center for Progressive Reform blog, rumors are circulating the Randall Lutter may be taking a deputy position at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the executive branch gatekeeper for all things regulatory. OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein has neither denied nor confirmed the rumors, Steinzor says.

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OMB Responds to Criticism over Endocrine Program

White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Peter Orszag said Monday that OMB did not improperly interfere in an EPA program meant to test the hormone-disrupting effects of chemicals. Orszag said that EPA has complete control over the program.

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EPA Begins Asking for Data on Chemicals’ Endocrine Effects

This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began sending out test orders under its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). EPA is asking chemical manufacturers to screen certain chemicals to determine whether they are endocrine disruptors – a term used to categorize any compound capable of causing certain reproductive and developmental abnormalities.

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White House Seeking Comment on Information Policy

The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is asking the public for ideas on ways to improve the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) – the 29-year-old law that governs federal information collection, dissemination, and management. In a notice in today’s Federal Register, the White House announces the opening of a 60 day public comment period.

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EPA Moving Fast to Revise Ozone Standard

The Environmental Protection Agency is readying a replacement for the current national air quality standard for ozone, or smog, which was roundly fouled up during the Bush administration.

Last Wednesday (Oct. 21), EPA sent to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) – the gatekeeper for all things regulatory – a draft version of a new notice of proposed rulemaking. That notice will propose revisions to the ozone standard finalized in March 2008.

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EPA Releases OMB Comments on Chemical Studies

As promised, the Environmental Protection Agency is releasing White House comments on EPA assessments of potentially toxic chemicals. Yesterday, EPA released the first batch of comments on four ongoing risk assessments.

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Czar Talk

Czar oversight, or, more accurately, czar bashing, has been co-opted by conservative commentators and some Republican lawmakers. It seems conservatives are just trying to score political points by smearing czars, and smearing President Obama in the process. That’s a shame, because czar oversight is very much an apolitical issue, or at least it should be.

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EPA May Tighten Smog Standards

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson announced today that she will review and possibly revise the national air quality standard for ozone, or smog. The Bush administration announced the standard on March 12, 2008, but clean air advocates and good government groups accused Bush officials of ignoring scientific conclusions in the face of political pressure. Today, EPA intimated that it will more closely align the regulation to the underlying science.

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Cass Sunstein Confirmed

As expected after yesterday’s cloture vote, Cass Sunstein was confirmed as the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The vote was 57-40. Click here to read OMB Watch’s statement on the confirmation.

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Sunstein One Step Closer to Confirmation

Update (9/10/09): A little after 4:00 pm, the Senate confirmed Cass Sunstein as OIRA administrator. The vote was 57-40. Click here to read OMB Watch’s statement on the confirmation.

Today, Cass Sunstein, President Obama's nominee to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, passed a critical test when the Senate voted to end debate on his nomination.

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