Dudley nominated to lead OMB regulatory affairs office

Originally posted at 10:19 a.m. and updated at 4:34 p.m.

(Updated) President Bush yesterday nominated Susan Dudley as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget.

Dudley, if confirmed by the Senate, would replace John Graham, who left in February after almost five years in the position.

Dudley is director of the regulatory studies program at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

By nominating Dudley, Bush brings in someone who understands how OIRA works. Prior to her position at George Mason, Dudley was OIRA's deputy chief of the Natural Resources Branch from 1985 to 1989. She also worked for the Environmental Protection Agency from 1984 to 1985 and served as an economist adviser to the commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 1989 to 1991.

Dudley earned her bachelor's degree in resource economics from the University of Massachusetts and her master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Not everyone pleased

At least one watchdog group is unhappy with Dudley's nomination. OMB Watch, a nonprofit in Washington, predicted that Dudley will be corporate interests' best friend.

"All the safeguards we take for granted ' everything from the air we breathe to the water we drink ' all of them are now at risk," said Robert Shull, OMB Watch's director for regulatory policy. "From her perch at the industry-funded think tank Mercatus Center [at George Mason], Dudley has been steadily attacking the standards that protect us all, with arguments that boggle the mind. She has criticized the Toxic Release Inventory, the program that protects the public's right to know about the toxic substances released into our own backyards. In Dudley's opinion, the war on terror is an excuse to leave the public in the dark about the hazards we are breathing and drinking."

Shull also said Dudley criticized standards that protect workers from breathing in silica dust, to keep them from dying an excruciating, suffocating death as their lungs crystallize. He added that in Dudley's opinion, "we cannot regulate until we know just how deadly all the different types of silica are."

"Dudley is a threat to the federal role in protecting the public," Shull said.


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