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.

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soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. indevoter

    I guess this man will NOT be happy until he leaves the White House in flames. Good Grief. God help his soul.

    December 12, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Tom

    Nice going Bushies–what else do you plan to wreck before you leave? You are despicable. You have no morals and no shame. Our children (yours included) will bear the burden of these selfish, short-sighted acts.

    December 12, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Amber

    And we wonder why all the good scientists have absconded to Europe?

    December 12, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. AEK

    A quick show of hands from all of you surprised by this news please...hummmmm, no hands!

    December 12, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. Phil in KC

    Regulations are put in place for a reason. But, when it gets in the way of making the money, the Republicans tear them down. In other words, it's nice to save the world – if it doesn't cost us anything.

    December 12, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Bush should be charged with crimes against nature as well as war crimes.

    December 12, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. deb in Colo

    Right, who needs the polar bears (or insert your endangered species here)?? Gotta put up more condos and drill, drill, drill...

    Bush only looks out for his cronies as usual.

    December 12, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Wilson, Seattle

    Some people are just in too much of a hurry to turn pristine habitat into parking lots. Ahhh, sweet pavement!

    But really... Some of the endangered species laws are a little over the top. Remember that spotted owl? Shut down logging in an entire state, and is there one more owl today to show for it? That said I think this is the pendulum swinging back too far.

    This is the exact opposite of Clinton as I remember it. On his way out he took land in red states primed for developments and turned them into unused national monuments.

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

    I think we should remove his secret service people and see how HE feels.

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

    @ Peejay

    Hey now Mr. Sarcasm, I bet you're one of them kooky sinners who believes in evolution and won't accept that the invisible man in the sky magicked us up approximately 2,000 years ago so we could write Bibles in english. I'll have you know that my family has proof that our ancestors were the first to keep a mastdon for a dishwasher.

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

    how sad

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

    Bush does not want nature to exist .
    His plan is lets destroy it completely for Greed and Money the bottomline .

    Bush is a madman and should be Impeached and brought to trial for what he has done and wants to do to our environment.

    December 12, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. An Obama Supporter

    He also wants to allow drilling in the Grand Canyon among many other changes...perhaps CNN could take a break from your fascination with trying to taint Obama and give him endless directives and advice before he even takes office and actually report on the actions being taken by Pres. Bush.

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

    I say we need to drill in anwar, alaska.....it's a no-mans land, and palin said it would be nice to drill there...we could produce enough oil for us for a lot of years to come.

    Larry
    Houston

    December 12, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. NT

    There is very little for this current president left to destroy in our country, but it seems he is doing his best to leave nothing unharmed. What a disaster of an a non-administration!

    December 12, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. rick

    Bush is only adding more to his legacy of failure. He is a very sad character and is lucky that he is living in the US. If he was living anywhere else the people would not be so kind to him.

    December 12, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. Jamie--Asheville, NC

    Hopefully these changes won't have too big an effect on ANY endangered species before Obama gets into office and can reverse them.

    These big business interests need to understand that human society can only grow so quickly and so much. We need to put limits on human greed before it completely wipes out species that have important niches in their respective ecosystems. We don't fully understand what problems may occur down the road if ecosystems really start to break down.

    December 12, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Leo

    George W. Bush is truly the worst president in the history of this country. He's a piece of garbage. Well, Barack will make things right again.

    December 12, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Tracy, IL

    I hope PE Obama reverses this when he gets into office

    December 12, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. the truth

    Environmentalists are only after their own little clean habitat and the ones with power only want more power, just like politicians.

    The average people that do care and want to make a difference are just pawns in a political fascist game on both sides.

    December 12, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. Michael in Houston

    It was never a wise idea to underestimate just how profoundly cruel and spiteful Bush can be. There is a mean streak in this man that runs very deep and surfaces often. He is a juvenile among men.

    He will continue to inflict his pathetic Presidency on the country right until the moment he walks out of the White House. Just watch who he pardons.

    December 12, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Sue

    Next come the pardons of each and every liar in the administration. Thank you, Nancy Pelosi, for being such a good friend of Bush (and such a lousy Speaker) that you wouldn't impeach him. I pray the courts will do something about his crimes.

    December 12, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. heartlight3

    The only reason I can think of to do something this shortsighted and stupid is that Bush must owe some developers big time. Otherwise why would anyone even consider such a thing?

    December 12, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Brian... the proud American..

    whooa.. I want to be a republican when I grow up.. I would be able to destroy the economy, destroy other countries and cultures ways of life, blow off other elected offiicials, and I will still be consider the most religious, spiritual, and Righteous of them all.. merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

    p.s. please not as a democrat I didn't take Christ out of Christmas..

    December 12, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. WDRussell

    George W, the gift of evil that just keeps on giving.

    December 12, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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