Bush seeks to gut endangered species protections in final weeks
November 20, 2008
The Bush Administration is expected to publish rules that relax protections for endangered species ahead of tomorrow’s deadline in order for them to take effect immediately, reports the Associated Press.
Among the rules likely to meet tomorrow’s deadline is one that eliminates mandatory, independent reviews by government scientists in decisions about whether dams, roads and development projects are likely to harm endangered species. Another rule would prohibit federal agencies from evaluating the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on at risk species, an attempt to thwart recent efforts by environmentalists to use the plight or polar bears and coral reefs as justification for blocking new coal-fired power plants.
The Associated Press reports that despite more than 250,000 comments files on the proposed rule changes, “the latest version has changed little from the original proposal.”
Democrats have said they would fight the changes and President-elect Barack Obama has threatened to invoke executive orders to nullify the rules once he takes office January 20.
In final weeks, President Bush aims to extend his environmental legacy
On Tuesday, November 4th, the people of the United States elected a new president, Senator Barack Obama. Many feel a new day is coming on a number of issues, including the environment. However the Bush Administration has 72 days left in its term and appears hopeful to use every one of those to make last-minute changes to environmental rules that will have wide-ranging impacts on the nation’s endangered species, air, water, parks, and undeveloped land. As the administration has done since taking office eight years ago, it is working toward such policies—all of them controversial—to benefit industry at the cost of the environment and health safeguards.