Bush appoints anti-regulation advocate as top regulatory official

Mere days ago, we mentioned that President Bush might give Congress the runaround by making recess appointments of industry-tied folk to top environmentally related positions in his administration. Well, that didn’t take long. Meet Susan Dudley, the newly appointed head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, who will have occasion to change or block rules proposed by government agencies. As the administration’s top regulatory official, it’s only logical that she’s a conservative academic considered to have an anti-regulation agenda. In the past, Dudley has argued that ground-level ozone is beneficial, and that it’s more cost-effective for pollution-sensitive people to stay inside on smoggy days than for the government to force polluters to clean up. Dudley was first nominated in July, but her appointment was stalled by a Senate that just wasn’t that into her; now, appointed by Bush while Congress is on its spring break, she’ll serve without confirmation until the 110th Congress adjourns in January 2009.