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.
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.
it feels like americans are on the endangered species list.
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.
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!
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.......
Poor Bush, he just looks a HOT MESS! I almost feel sorry for him – NOT!
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!!!
This president is determined not to be loved.
Doesn't surprise me in the least....like all despots, he's following the pattern of "scorch the earth".
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Merry Christmas corporations and developers! Love, The Frat Boy
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
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.
The man is obviously mentally challenged; it shouldn't surprise
anyone, especially the evangelicals who look upon this retard as
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.
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.
He is just intent on cementing his legacy of total devastation before he goes...
This just mirrors what Saddam did to the oil fields of Kuwait when he left.
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.