US President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team has warned that, as yet, no decisions have been taken on reversing controversial orders passed by incumbent George W. Bush.
It is suggested that decrees on stem cell research and oil drilling could be among those repealed.
“They (the Bush administration) want to have oil and gas drilling in some of the most sensitive, fragile lands in Utah that they are going to try to do, right as they are walking out the door. I think that is a mistake.”, said John Podesta, the co-Chair of the Obama transition team.
Many in the US have long opposed Bush’s position banning the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research. Advocates, like Amy Comstock-Rice from the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, are urging Obama to make a quick decision and rescind the order: “Time really matters on this issue and this is an issue that does not require Congress. President Bush issued his policy using his executive authority, then President Obama will be able to do the same and lift this and the science can move forward,” she said.
During a tour of the White House, Bush showed Obama the Oval Office, his workplace for the next four years. At the same time, their wives went on an informal tour of the private apartments.
Obama has pledged to discuss the executive orders with both Democrats and Republicans as well as his Cabinet nominees, none of whom have been selected yet.