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Bush administration takes independent scientific reviews out of Endangered Species Act

12 December, 2008

By Julie Cart 
December 12, 2008

Los Angeles Times

 

The Bush administration is once again setting up roadblocks for president-elect Obama and showing his contempt for past efforts to protect the environment and the species of plant and animals that share our environment with us.  For many citizens, it also shows contempt for us, although many others will rejoice.

As his term draws to a close, Bush has ordered substantial changes to regulations long in place to protect the environment. The latest changes affect protected habitats, endangered species, and the capping of greenhouse emissions.  Construction projects may escape stringent evaluation before they are allowed to continue, instead relying solely on the builder’s own assessment of the plans and habitat.

Such changes will certainly be a boon to construction companies, logging companies,  the US military  and most definitely the oil drilling companies.  Environmental agencies and wildlife groups will find that much of their accomplishments will have been wiped away with one sweep by President Bush.

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Attempts to revise the Endangered Species Act have been rebuffed by Congress in recent years.  Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Thursday’s actions were another assault on the law.

“These midnight regulations are part of a continuing effort by the Bush administration to repeal our landmark environmental laws through the back door and weaken protections for our nation’s endangered species,” she said in a  statement.

I believe they are illegal, and if similar regulations had been in place, they would have undermined our ability to protect the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the gray whale,” Boxer said.      

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Finally, in his last month in office, Bush gets a freehand to undermine and destroy legislation that has stood in his way for eight years.  For him, it must seem like the longest Christmas season ever.                        

 

Read the rest of the story here:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/washingtondc/la-na-endangered-species12-2008dec12,0,7748067.story

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