By Miriam Raftery
February 8, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Today, the nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump. The suit challenges Trump’s executive order banning federal agencies from issuing any new regulations unless they eliminate two others.
A press release from Public Citizen states, “Trump essentially ordered the government to stop issuing new health and safety, financial, environmental, workplace and other vital public protections. Trump’s executive order will allow Big Business to exploit workers, Wall Street to rip off consumers, Dirty Energy companies to pollute, Big Pharma to continue price gouging, auto makers to sell dangerous cars, and on and on.”
The group contends that the order will make it nearly impossible for the government to carry out its duties under popular and effective laws such as the Clean Air Act, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, warns, “Even after the Wall Street crash, the BP oil disaster and other failures that resulted from letting corporations `regulate’ themselves, the American people will be forced to suffer still more corporate recklessness and greed.”
Trump has said his executive order aims to cut the size of government and slash bureaucracy to help businesses. The order exempts any regulations mandated by acts of Congress.
But Weissman calls the requirement to cut two regulations for any new regulation required “a nonsensical standard with absolutely no basis in law.”
He calls it “insidious” to evaluate regulations only by considering costs to businesses while ignoring their benefits to society.
Weissman warns, “This executive order will mean more contaminated food, an accelerated rush to climate catastrophe, more dangerous cars and trucks, more workplace injuries and deaths, slashed consumer rights, more oil spills, more human misery. All unnecessary. All preventable,” he concludes, adding, “Our lawsuit takes direct aim at Trump’s plot to put corporate profits before people’s lives and the public good.”