In Animal News on January 22, 2009 at 9:38 pm
It’s no secret that President Obama plans to reverse many of former President George W. Bush’s policy decisions. Animal lovers may be heartened to know that this change in the political winds extends to animals as well. President Obama has announced a freeze on publication of all of the Bush administration’s 11th-hour rules curtailing the reach of the Endangered Species Act. Halting publication will allow the Obama folks to review (and likely subsequently terminate) decidedly animal-unfriendly policies, including slashing of protection for gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes regions. Also put on the chopping block is a proposal by the Bush administration to redefine, i.e. limit, the extent of coverage the act provides to endangered species.
This super-nifty political move does not, however, undo Bush’s significant relaxation of rules restricting mountaintop mining and others relating to the implementation of the Endangered Species Act. That will have to come later.
In Animal News on December 12, 2008 at 4:36 pm
The Bush administration may be wallowing in the midst of undeniable lame duckness, but its recklessness is still alive and well. To borrow a term used frequently in the recent presidential campaign, Bush seems nothing less than “hell-bent” on stripping the Endangered Species Act of much of its muscle.
Yesterday, Dec. 11, President Bush announced a new series of regulations allowing industry to subvert many of the act’s guidelines, further endangering species ostensibly protected under the act. The regulations include exempting greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants and oil and gas drilling. Tens of thousands of logging, mining, road-building, and development projects are also being exempted from Endangered Species Act review, allowing the agencies proposing the expanded logging and mining to conduct their own reviews. Additionally, federal regulators would be barred from enforcing the protection of the recently declared endangered polar bears and Florida corals.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit against the administration within minutes of the announcement. Together with the Defenders of Wildlife and Greenpeace, the center is pleading that the court declare the new regulations illegal with due haste.