December 12th, 2008
02:01 PM ET
6 years ago

Environmentalists blast changes to Endangered Species rules

Environmentalists are not happy with President Bush's changes to regulations of the Endangered Species Act.
Environmentalists are not happy with President Bush's changes to regulations of the Endangered Species Act.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Bush administration cleared the way Thursday for federal agencies to skip consultations with government scientists when embarking on projects that could impact endangered wildlife, the interior secretary said.

The final regulations to the Endangered Species Act take effect before President Bush leaves office in January, but wildlife conservation groups say undoing the damage could take months.

"The responsibility to initiate consultation will still lie with the federal agency undertaking the action," Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said, but if the agency in question can satisfy the requirement that no harm will come to an endangered species, then there is no need to consult with either the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Services.

The determination of "no harm" will rest with agency bureaucrats instead of scientists, but the agencies can still seek the input of the scientists on a voluntary basis, Kempthorne said.

Developers and agencies with large projects have long sought a weakening of Endangered Species Act regulations, which they say delay their projects and add to costs.

Full story

soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. chuck

    GEORGE BUSH IS ALWAYS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF REGULATIONS. THIS GUY IS JUST OCCUPYING SPACE AND WASTING TIME.

    December 12, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. randy

    One last, parting stick in the eye by W. So much for Christian "stewardship" of God's creation...

    December 12, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. Abyssinian Lion

    uhhhh....heheh, can we make sure wil kill some more animals before I leave? heheh...

    December 12, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. Laverne

    Just like Bush "I DID IT MY WAY"!

    December 12, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Ana

    This Democrat is getting tired of all the Bush bashing......and that says alot!

    December 12, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. BALD EAGLE

    I'm screwed

    December 12, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. Carl Justus

    I hope they build a sewer close to Bush's new in Texas.

    December 12, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. KJL

    Is he crazy? This is worse than Clinton's Marc Rich pardon.

    December 12, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. ANGIE

    What a Slimeball!

    December 12, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This president has relied on ideology to drive his science decision. There has been no effort to understand what is going by reliable scientists. If the changes allow the bureaucrats to totally ignore the scientists, then this change is foolish. The scientists are the ones who do the work to understand what is going on. Bureaucrats can be swayed by the business interest that will do more harm in the long run just for the fast buck now.

    December 12, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. MBuvia Greenwood,IN

    Adding to his legacy of worst POTUS EVER!!!

    December 12, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Mecrob

    it's funny that they used bush's typical 'monkey face' for this article. He probably wants himself put on the list/ :)

    December 12, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. Peejay

    There are of course no endangered species (except for honest politicians and U.S. scientists) and global warming is a hoax. Heckuva legacy, Georgie.

    December 12, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Shucks

    That's OK!! Wonder what republican owned corporations are now going to have carte blanche to destroy any habitat they can for their own profit. How irresponsible and wreckless. Yet we want to put limitations on other countries regarding fishing, polluting, and deforestation. What a bunch of hypocrites we are. Bush still destroying our integrity world wide even to the end.

    December 12, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  15. Mike from c-bus

    Eight abysymal years of ineptitude wrapped up with one more nail in the coffins our our kids,grandkids and our beautiful planet. History will judge thee. As will your maker. You sir have been one truly regrettable leader.

    December 12, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. Ya_Ya

    Typical.

    December 12, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Beverly in NC

    Not to worry, Obama has an entire list already made to overturn almost every "Executive" order Bush signed. We will soon to be returning to a nation of real values and of common sense.

    How refreshing to actually have an intelligent and decent man becoming our President.

    December 12, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Ken in Dallas

    What's to say? Bush has always been the enemy of all who live.

    December 12, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. Irony

    Bush's legacy of destruction continues... Not enough killing? Lets offer up some endangeresd species as icing on the cake...

    Idiot, Torturer, Killer of men and animals. Bush's legacy of horrors!

    December 12, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. Cindy

    This is disappointing. Now, I guess we'll see more circumvention from profit-making businesses, and more emotional activists sitting in trees preventing what should have been caught in the permitting and planning stages.

    China probably doesn't go through checks and balances, and now we've got recalls for lead painted toys, tainted milk products, ets... but they're going to keep going in that direction, cause it's more profitable. Well, at least they take care of their Panda bears...

    December 12, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. tired of corporate politics

    I hope that Obama can work to overturn some of the damage that Bush did to the environment. Bush was never kind to Mother Nature.

    But we need to keep watching Obama. He has some Big Corporate favors to pay back. He is shown himself to be a typical politian and knows to say whatever people want to hear. We will need to see if words will turn into anything good.

    "It is the fist responsibility of every citizen to question authority."
    Benjamin Franklin

    December 12, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. lou

    we let this man get away with our ruin, shame and now he want's to finish the job... do not let him!!!!

    December 12, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. Ken

    Please go away... obama will do just fine in all areas!!

    December 12, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Laura SF CA

    Nice legacy Mr. President. Too bad you can't use what little time is left in your "presidency" to do something good.

    December 12, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. wonderwoman

    More proof that Bush is an undereducated creep.

    December 12, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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