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Obama halts some of Bush's 'midnight rules'

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UPI Photo/Pete Souza/White House Press Office

(Read caption) On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama meets with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office.

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Only hours into his presidency, Barack Obama has ordered a freeze on all the new and pending federal regulations that the Bush administration pushed through in its final days.

As Monitor reporter Mark Clayton noted two months ago, many of these "midnight rules" seek to relax, or completely do away with, environmental standards. Among the rules that have been frozen is one that would have made it easier for factories and refineries to expand without applying for new federal pollution permits. Another would have removed federal protection for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes. Another would have opened areas of Oregon to logging. Another would have opened 2 million acres of public land in Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah for oil-shale drilling. And another would have helped set in motion the commercialization of meat from genetically modified animals.

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