[JURIST] John Podesta [CAP profile], former White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton and now co-chair of the transition team for US president-elect Barack Obama [transition website] said in an interview [transcript] on Fox News Sunday over the weekend that Obama is making plans to issue executive orders to reverse some of the more contentious policies implemented during the Bush administration. At the top of the list for review are the limitations on stem cell research and expansion of domestic drilling for oil and gas. Podesta said:
There's a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for congressional action, and I think we'll see the president do that to try to restore...a sense that the country is working on behalf of the common good, that we're going to try to restore wages, give people the right kind of ways that they can build on their own lives, and when they work hard that they'll be rewarded for it.The New York Times has more.
In July 2006, President Bush vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act [JURIST report] which was passed by the Senate to remove restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. Bush's drilling policy, which entailed the use of approximately 360,000 acres of Utah public land for oil and gas drilling, has received criticism from environmentalist groups who fear that the infrastructure could impact local wildlife, calling for increased research into energy conservation and renewable resources instead. In January 2007, Bush lifted a moratorium on drilling [JURIST report] imposed by Clinton in parts of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.