A piece by Elizabeth Kolbert (my professional idol) on "midnight regulations." I was happy to see this because Charles Wilkinson just spoke about this issue last week in the Scripps Fellows seminar. It just so happens that a lot of the midnight regulations Bush's administration is trying to pass involve environmental policy.
Bush certainly isn't the only one. From the article:
"According to the National Journal, by the time Clinton left office 'the journalists who cover the White House had thrown up their hands at the prospect of keeping up.'"
Also, attempting to undo them may be futile:
"(President Bush, for all his grumbling—and despite Republican control of Congress for much of his tenure—ended up implementing more than three-quarters of the midnight rules that Clinton had left him, including the one on arsenic, just as they were written.) Alternatively, once in office, Barack Obama could ask his agencies to go through the rule-making process all over again. But, by the time that was finished, a good deal of the damage might already have been done. Once a power plant has been rebuilt, it can’t readily be unrebuilt.
"The Bush Administration, probably as a result of its own experience, is now trying to craft rules that are as difficult as possible to reverse."
Oh, for gosh sakes, I'm excerpting too much... just go read the darn thing!