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Obama Nominates Antitrust Expert Shelanski as New Regulatory Czar.

President Barack Obama said on Thursday he would pick Howard Shelanski, an antitrust expert, as his new regulatory czar, a powerful White House position charged with reviewing regulations proposed by government departments.

Shelanski, who is both an economist and a lawyer, is currently in charge of a team of economists that reviews competition and consumer protection issues at the Federal Trade Commission.

He was described by lawyers who know him as a sophisticated analyst who has a pragmatic approach gained from spending time in the trenches of a government agency.

“In my opinion, he’s a home run,” said William Eskridge, law professor at Yale University, who praised Shelanski for his intellect.

The regulatory czar is formally called the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, or OIRA – a body within the White House budget office.

Shelanski would replace Cass Sunstein, a well known and often controversial author who left the White House in August to return to teach at Harvard Law School.

During Sunstein’s tenure, the White House came under fire from environmental groups for thwarting regulations that were deemed to cost too much, including killing a smog rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Source: nyt/reuters

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