December 12th, 2008
02:01 PM ET
9 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. Ravi

    I can't wait for Barack to take office! It's going to be very rewarding as we watch him undo Bush's executive orders, one by one. We will once again become a country which values women's rights, civil rights, LGBT rights, religious diversity, church/state separation, socioeconomic equality, workers' and consumers' rights, energy independence, and yes, wildlife.

    December 12, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. truth hurts

    it feels like americans are on the endangered species list.

    December 12, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Matt

    @ Larry

    The amount of oil in ANWR is negligible in the grand scheme of things. Total production from ANWR would be between 0.4% to 1.2% of total world oil consumption in 2030 (you have to take into account that it would take 10+/- years for us to begin getting oil out of there). That's NOTHING. READ THINGS...IT HELPS.

    December 12, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |

    Yes, the Chenney White House knows there's nothing like sweeping aside public debate or the will of another branch of the government with the stroke of a pen!

    Way to go! Score another one for big business at the expense of the environment!

    Constitution... Smonsitution....

    December 12, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. yellow dog democrat

    D**n – I wish we could just give the country back to the real Americans (the native Americans) but by now they probably wouldn't want it back since we seem to be making such a sewer out of it all in the name of "the bottom line" and that line is green and it lines the pockets of the depraved ones.......

    December 12, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Nancy

    Poor Bush, he just looks a HOT MESS! I almost feel sorry for him – NOT!

    December 12, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Idealist

    I truly believe that if W really wanted to polish up his image (highly unlikely!), he would step down NOW. This Country can't afford to wait for innauguration day for a capable leader to take charge – lame duck limbo is not cutting it, folks!!!

    December 12, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. Douglas, Los Angeles California

    This president is determined not to be loved.

    December 12, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Vera Geiss

    Doesn't surprise me in the all despots, he's following the pattern of "scorch the earth".

    December 12, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. david

    I was wondering when el Screwup and his buddies would get around to gutting enviornmental legislation and destroying unions. And what a price this Country is paying and will pay for this stupid little man and his criminal friends.

    December 12, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. abraxis

    I don't blame dubya for his stupidity. Who I blame are the flat earth people who elected and reelected him.

    For the most part, people elect leaders who are more intelligent then them. What does that say about the population who voted for stupidity twice?

    December 12, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Tim

    Bush continues to do everything he can to cement his place in history as the worst president ever.

    Protecting the environment only hurts the large corporations who cannot manage to work effectively unless they are destroying the planet. Thanks Dubya, now don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    December 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. Mr Magoo

    Larry LOL! your joking right. You believe what Sarah (I can see Russia from my house) Palin has to say.

    Houston you have a problem

    December 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Alan

    I've long felt the Republicans secretly envied Mexico. That's why we have an "immigration problem" when laws exist on the books already that are simply not being enforced.

    Secretly, they wanted to create a country LIKE Mexico, with the top .05% living like kings and the rest of the population scrambling for pennies to get enough money to eat and live in shacks.

    I doubted my suspicions till I read this. Now it appears Bush is convinced he wants to leave the country LOOKING like Mexico.


    December 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Michael

    One final disasterous policy decision before going down in flames forever huh George! I hope your God, that you claim to follow so much, doesn't care about the animals he created – the ones you're personally responsible for destroying over the last eight years.

    Interesting take on your own ideaology – very cafeteria christian you are! Pick what you like and can profit from and leave the rest behind.

    December 12, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Al, California

    It's a shame for all of us. It's 2008, December 12, and he is not in prison yet. Not even out of office.

    December 12, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. CJ

    Merry Christmas corporations and developers! Love, The Frat Boy

    December 12, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Kelby from Houston, TX

    By a show of proverbial hands, how many people are surprised by this. It's action such as this that make me believe the man is truly evil. Doing anything that does not promote the health of this planet is wrong and they know it, but there is profit in doing wrong. And that is why it continues

    December 12, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. MikeH

    Bush is not a corporate pimp, he's a corporate 'ho.

    Disgusting, utterly disgusting. I hope the rest of his life is spent in alcoholic misery for what he has tried to do to the Earth.

    December 12, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Clark

    The man is obviously mentally challenged; it shouldn't surprise
    anyone, especially the evangelicals who look upon this retard as
    their God.

    December 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    Bush is determined to do all he can in his last few weeks to further damage our nation. From natural resources, to wildlife, to reproductive health, this man will protect nothing but his cronies' pocketbooks. It makes me sick and it really shows what kind of person his is. I see more damage coming and he does this with either no regard or without actually understanding the harm.

    December 12, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    One more thing, please CNN. Letting bureaucrats make the decisions without the required input of scientists just gives the bureaucrats more ways to get paid – by special interests who want privileges to drill, cut, mine, etc.

    December 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Susan, California

    He is just intent on cementing his legacy of total devastation before he goes...

    December 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. Henri

    This just mirrors what Saddam did to the oil fields of Kuwait when he left.

    December 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Get over it

    Finally, some common sense when it comes to dealing with these left winged envinronmentalist wackos.

    It has been getting so that you can't take a walk in the park without having to worry about stepping on some endangered snail, or swatting some endagered mosquito and getting hauled off to jail. A person can't even work their own land without these kook balls causing problems.

    December 12, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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