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Congratulations to Susan Dudley:

Congratulations to my friend and colleague Susan Dudley who the President has just announced will be nominated to be Administrator of OIRA. Susan is an outstanding regulatory economist with a very serious mind and a commitment to "getting it right" in terms of applying rigorous economic analysis to governmental regulation. She also has a indefatigable sunny disposition and friendliness--both traits that will come in handy in that political thicket.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. What Does Dudley Drive?
  2. Desperately Smearing Susan:
  3. Congratulations to Susan Dudley:
Justin (mail):
Josh Marshall is less impressed:

"We also pay the price as consumers. From the moment we wake up in the morning -- flushing the toilet twice, courtesy of the Department of Energy's appliance standards -- to the time we put our children in their Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved pajamas, regulations not only increase the cost of goods and services we buy, but also the choices we can make."

For the industry-sponsored "news" website Tech Central Station.

Definitely a huge concern and a nomination that would be blocked in a better world. Though I'm sure she's a wonderful human being, what you consider "getting it right" has looked, for the most part, like being flat out anti-regulatory, damn the facts. For someone whose supposed to be in charge of government regulations, it bodes horribly for worker and consumer safety.

I trust your judgment when it comes to her personality - and she may be a wonderful person - but the job of OIRA at least theoretically requires some interest in regulating. As an analogy, putting a person who doesn't believe that pollution is a bad thing, who thinks that global warming does not exist, and is concerned about the costs to society of erecting ARTIFICIAL places to put their drudge in when there are perfectly free streams would be a bad fit for head of the EPA no matter how decent a human being that person was otherwise.

Dudley was skeptical of the environmental problems of smog, considers global warming a myth, opposed air bags in cars, measures to stop arsenec in drinking water, etc. Her favorite terms is "the evidence is mixed" or "uncertain". She is part and parcel of this administration's war on science - which, btw, is wonderfully detailed in Chris Mooney's book aptly named "The Republican War on Science."
8.2.2006 10:39am
GregC (mail):
Justin,

What is your evidence that Dudley "considers global warming a myth," that she "opposed air bags in cars," or that she opposed "measures to stop arsenec [sic] in drinking water"?

I can find no indication that Dudley has ever said or written anything on global warming, and her positions on air bags and arsenic are not as you describe them. In the former, she opposed mandatory installation of so-called "smart airbags" (i.e. those that detect the weight of passengers and adjust inflation force accordingly) when the technology was relatively new. This on the heels of the feds mandating ("dumb"?) airbags that resulted in several deaths of children and small-statured adults. And, in the latter, she opposed lowering the permissible level of arsenic in drinking water from 50 micrograms/liter to 10 micrograms/liter. The National Academy of Sciences panel asked to investigate the issue noted that there was no scientific evidence indicating that a lower level would save any lives, but that the government should mandate the lower level anyway just in case.

Argue what you may about the merits of either position, but what you claim is just plain incorrect.
8.2.2006 11:43am
Buck Turgidson (mail):
Justin,
Tech Central Station is not "industry-sponsored". It's one of the covers for extremist pseudo-Christian organizations, like CNSN.

It's all one big happy family! Of course, around here, flame-retardant pajamas could be of some use.
8.2.2006 1:53pm
countertop (mail):
Susan is a rockstar. God bless her.

As for Justin's comments - she was one of the first people I know of in the DC area to get into a hybrid car - well before its became the rage of hollywood and the limousine liberals who sprout the false and politically tinged charge disinformation you so quickly embrace - purely on economic considerations. Which, after all, should be the ultimate driver of regulatory decisions: Will a given reguatory action result in a net gain.

For liberals, the equation is usually driven more by the concern for allow one special interest or another to bilk more money out of the system. This is a concern for Republicans as well, but in my experience the Rs are far more concerned with bungling the entire process of government. Susan, brings tremendous experience, respect, and ingenuiity to a position thats been sorely lacking it for some time.
8.2.2006 3:52pm
WHOI Jacket:
Which "psudeo-Christian" organization is TCS a cover for, exactly?


I'm sure Glenn Renyolds would be interested to know....
8.2.2006 6:17pm
Justin (mail):
"evidence regarding global warming and human contribution to it is mixed, and…if a slight warming does occur, historical evidence suggests it is likely to be beneficial, occurring at night, in the winter, and at the poles. Taking 'precautionary action' to protect human health based on a series of tenuous linkages would likely create a new set of risks."

I think that qualifies as believing that global warming is a myth.
8.2.2006 7:29pm
Justin (mail):
TCS is funded primarily by "AT&T, ExxonMobil, General Motors Corporation, Intel, McDonalds, Microsoft, Nasdaq, National Semiconductor, PhRMA, and Qualcomm."

Info on TCS

They're the financial conservatives, not the religious zealots.
8.2.2006 7:32pm
Greg C (mail):
Justin,

I can't tell if you're a dupe or a liar. But in either case, you're still wrong about the global warming and arsenic claims.

First, the passage you cite is from a comment written by a Mercatus scholar named Kameran Bailey, not Susan Dudley (Environmental Protection Agency's Request for Comment on a Petition: Control of Emissions From Newand In-use Highway Vehicles and Engines). It was also written in 2001, two years before Dudley became head of the regulatory studies program at Mercatus. If you have evidence that Bailey was plagerizing something Dudley had previously said or written, or that Dudley later plagerized this passage, I'd like to see it. But I doubt such evidence exists, as I can find no other indication that Dudley has ever publicly expressed an opinion on global warming.

Second, the document you cite to support your arsenic claim notes that, "EPA's estimates suggest that a standard between 20 ug/L and the current standard of 50 ug/L is more likely to optimize benefits and costs." And, "Before requiring all communities to make those investments, EPA is wise to examine carefully the public health benefits and the social costs of achieving lower and lower levels in drinking water" (Public Interest Comment on the Environmental Protection Agency's Request for Comments on National Drinking Water Regulations for Arsenic). The good news for you is that the document was actually written by Dudley. The bad news, of course, is that it doesn't say what you say it does. In fact, it could be read (though it need not be) not only to support arsenic limits in drinking water, but to support a limit lower than that which existed for all eight years of the Clinton Administration.

You owe Susan Dudley an apology.
8.2.2006 11:08pm
Byomtov (mail):
From Justin's link:

According to the Washington Monthly, soon after ExxonMobil enlisted as a sponsor, TCS began running articles attacking the Kyoto accord and the science of global warming. And after the pharmaceutical lobby PhRMA hired TCS's parent company, DCI Group (a public affairs firm), TCS columnists wrote editorials and articles arguing against legislation that would allow the reimportation of drugs from Canada.

TCs is a scam, no big surprise considering it's run by James "Dow 36000" Glassman.
8.3.2006 1:12pm
AD:
Interestingly the flame retardant chemicals used in pajamas were rejected by the European Union after it was discovered that they posed a potential risk to the health of children and their effectiveness rapidly diminished with every wash. Such is typical in the law and economics of regulation world. Although I will point out that Susan has never done any work on flame retardant pajamas. Regulatory economics involves the careful study and measurement of competing tradeoffs and unintended consequences. Therefore, the making of sweeping characterizations such as "she hates the environment" or "she hates children" just because her careful study has revealed the counterproductivity and harm foisted upon us unintentionally by many well-meaning and good-sounding regulations is either founded in ingorance or duplicity. OIRA could not be in finer, or more caring, hands.
8.3.2006 4:05pm
Justin (mail):
Apologies - it appears Republicans in Congress, and not the White House (necessarily) are planning on avoiding nomination hearings.
8.4.2006 6:09pm