- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
President Obama's young administration is spending its first day reigning in its agencies, presumably only for the short-term.
Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel issued a memo on Wednesday to all federal agencies that might publish in the Federal Register, asking them to halt the publication of any regulations currently in the works, and pass new regulations through the Office of Management and Budget.
Going through OMB isn't new to agencies like the EPA. President Bush also used the office, which is under more direct political control by the White House, to make sure large federal bureaucracies were reflecting administration opinion.
The letter also asks the agencies to "consider extending for 60 days the effective date of regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but not yet taken effect, for the purpose of reviewing questions of law and policy raised by those regulations." This does not include regulations subject to statutory or judicial deadlines.
Emanuel made specific reference to actions that "affect critical health, safety, environmental, financial, or national security functions."
Regulations affected would include those made in the busy final week of administration of President George W. Bush, including, notably, major changes to the New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act, the removal of certain solvents from VOC listing, new SPCC compliance dates, revisions to the Air Quality Index, and a decision on whether to regulate perchlorate.