January 15, 2009
• Posted in

Beginning in December, following the election of Barack Obama, the Bush administration began to issue a series of midnight regulations. These regulations were designed to put in place controversial policies which the administration could not get passed through the United States Congress. I disagree with many of these regulations as a matter of public policy, but as Attorney General, that is not my primary concern. For me the fundamental questions are whether these midnight regulations conform to or violate the law and are harmful to Oregonians. After careful review, we have concluded that two of these midnight regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Interior violate existing federal laws and negatively impacts our state. Accordingly, we are announcing this morning that Oregon will fight to overturn these two regulations in the federal courts.

One of the new regulations threatens the rights of some of our most vulnerable crime victims. Under Oregon law, victims of rape have the right to be informed about and receive emergency contraception when they go to the hospital. If enforced, the new Bush administration regulation threatens that right. As Attorney General, nothing is more important to me that protecting Oregon’s crime victims and we will seek to overturn this regulation in court.

The second regulation modifies, and in our view, violates the Endangered Species Act. It invites government agencies and businesses to damage the environment without fully considering the impact of their actions on global warming and the threat to endangered and threatened species.

In both of these lawsuits, we are partnering with other states who share our legal concerns. I expect our challenge to the Health and Human Services regulation will be filed today in Connecticut. The complaint that we file will contain specific allegations about the impact of the Bush administration’s regulation on Oregon crime victims. I expect the second lawsuit challenging the Interior Department’s endangered species regulation to be filed in the next day or two in California. We are waiting to file at the request of other states who are considering whether to join in on our complaint.

In addition we will be challenging,in federal court, today’s order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approving the Bradwood Landing LNG terminal on the Columbia River. That order allows the Bradwood Landing LNG project to proceed without proper regard to its impact on Oregon’s water quality and coastal resources.

Finally, I want to thank the governor for his leadership and support on these issues. Having a governor who is also a very fine lawyer makes life easy for an Attorney General.


Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 |