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Susan Dudley Is Unfit to Be Nation’s Next Regulatory Czar

Sept. 12, 2006

Susan Dudley Is Unfit to Be Nation’s Next Regulatory Czar

Statement of Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook

Susan Dudley is unfit to head the nation’s most powerful regulatory oversight agency.

That is the conclusion of a report Public Citizen and OMB Watch are issuing today, titled The Cost Is Too High: How Susan Dudley Threatens Public Protections. In it, we outline why the Senate should reject Susan Dudley, who has been nominated to run the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the White House Office of Management and Budget – an office that is little-known outside the Beltway but has profound implications for Americans everywhere.

Whoever runs the agency will make decisions that deeply affect the nation’s health, environment, food supply and overall safety. This person affects the air we breathe, the cars we drive, the medicines we take and the water we drink.

Susan Dudley is on track to be the nation’s next regulatory czar. She shouldn’t be.

She is fundamentally opposed to regulation. She supports radical policies that would impair public safeguards. She pushes paralysis by analysis. She has deep ties to industry, regularly referencing the free market as her guiding light. She works for the Mercatus Center, which is funded by major industries that are regulated by the government and have fought against regulation for years. From her perch at the Mercatus Center, she has attempted to eliminate key environmental, health and safety rules designed to protect citizens.

For instance, she fought a rule requiring all automakers to install air bags because she believed it should be the consumer’s choice as to whether they have air bags in their vehicles. Never mind that optional air bags would cost consumers four times as much and might not be available. She called a key health and environmental rule that lowered the limit of arsenic in drinking water an “unwelcome distraction.” And she said that a major ergonomics rule should be rejected because employers may have adequate incentives to provide enough protection for workers, a proposition disproven in the rulemaking itself.

With the release of this report, we are launching a campaign to disseminate this information to the public and every member of Congress to make sure that they are aware of what a threat Susan Dudley would be to the health and safety of all Americans. We are urging the Senate to reject her nomination.