This is pretty bad stuff.
This is not the first time a Republican administration has tried to block the emergency withdrawal provisions; in the early 1980s, a federal judge rejected a challenge brought by Interior Secretary James G. Watt.
Asked why the new rule was necessary, Chris Paolino, another department spokesman, said that the law had been dormant since the early 1980s, but that “it has again come forward and that makes this an appropriate time to address this sticking point in our regulations.”
The Bush administration is not unique in seeking to put its stamp on rules in the final days of its term. The Clinton administration, for example, did, too.
This week another rule made it easier for coal companies to dump rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations into streams and valleys.
Anonyman has the red ass, a little. From an email:
I know I've opined on the danger of ignoring democracy to pursue ideological goals. But with the recent actions in Canada, which essentially has established a dictatorship for the next 2 months, and our spending a few trillion in Iraq to teach them about how a democracy works, I think these pale in comparison to an federal agency actively rewriting rules so that Congress cannot conduct oversight claiming a procedural flaw in a law. I was bemoaning the state of Rs to a friend, who's a D, he thought it was hilarious and said I was the last republican standing. Too bad they broke both my knees on the way out.