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.
To Larry, from Houston. You are right. ANWAR is a no-man's land. And that is EXACTLY why we shouldn't drill there. It needs to be permanently protected. I think Obama is going to have his hands full reversing all of the unbelievable harm Bush has done to the environment in this country.
Bush is destroying the environment to hasten the End of Days era he and his religious nut bags think we're currently in.
You'd think that any normal administration would have the decency to not try and implement last-minute legislation that they know will be undone by the next administration immediately. What a waste of man-hours and tax dollars.
One more thing – Obama might as well just sign an Omnibus Executive Order that basically says, "All Executive Orders Issued By Former President George W. Bush are hereby Set Aside, Nullified, and Void." It will save him time from actually having to read them all – I am sure there's not a single one that Obama would want to or should continue.
what a slime
Those who elected this moron-in-charge to office must be really proud. Of course a good many of these very same "people" actually put him office do these very stupid things, and they will agree with these rule changes because they are anti-environment, anti-science, and anti-anything if it doesn't smell like the hind-end of rightwing ideology. And these same people go around calling themselves conservatives - what delusion....that would be the same as Limbaugh claiming to be a Nobel Laureate.
Oh Dear, the fight over Mother Nature.. the list just keeps getting longer... Dont worry, the onlything that needs to exist is us, HUMANS.
I have a question for all of you Bush bashers out there.
What are y'all going to do when you don't have him to kick around any more??????????
I realize that it is like a drug for y'all, I guess that y'all will have to go into detox and/or therapy.
bush is just wicked.
Is anyone surprise with some of the "little legacies" Bush is leaving us?
When you think about how Bush ....
Bankrupted our Nation
Started an illegal war costing $10 BILLION a month
And all the rest of the Bush Disaster...... including $1 TRILLION IN DEFICIT FOR NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET...... does anything he does surprise us?
BUSH= WORST PRESIDENT EVER
He's not going to stop until he ruins everything even more, is he...
The last sentence of the full article is key: Congress can block the proposed changes. Which is exactly what will happen. The insanity that is the Bush Administration will end soon. That said, January 20th can not come soon enough for my taste.
Are we humans still on the top of the food chain or the bottom, if so we are the endangered species.
Bush apparently wants to do as much damage to the Country, including its animals and environs, as possible before he leaves office. His legacy is nothing short of death and destruction to everything and everyone he has touched with his insane policies!
as long as he is dooming the endangered species, Charles Manson wants out, the oil companies need more tax breaks (they did not get the profit level they deserved this year, so he needs to make it up to them), and I'm sure there are some more groups that have not been called unpatriotic yet
and what about Bush and his henchmen making all kinds of behind the scenes changes to domestic spy programs as part of his phony terrorism mania?
WORST PRESIDENT EVER......
@ Get Over it
Not so much. As an eminent domain plaintiff's attorney, I deal with land use regulations all the time. The fact is, the federal and most state regulations are not that bad. It's when municipalities get involved that the real doodoo hits the fan because local conservation commissions (a) love their bureaucratic power and (b) are usually staffed by the tree huggers. What Bush has done, however, is open the door wide for sweetheart deals and bribery, because there will no longer need to be SCIENCE involved. Like all good right-wing nutjobs, he hates facts and evidence getting it he way of a good political maneuver.
Another poke in the eye of the American tax payer. January 20th can't come soon enough. Bush is the worst person to ever reside as an American president, quite an honor, JR.
He has no respect for anything. He know Obama will repeal it...he's just making things difficult.
Worse president this country has ever had!
@Michael, Houston Texas
People with any intelligence know there is no God. It's hard for an intelligent species like us to think we are no more than a biological being that lives and dies. It's scary but a reality.
The idea of a "soul" is laughable.
I am so disgusted with George Bush that I have trouble breathing even when I see his name in print. I refuse to watch when he appears on television.
Get Over It
You are dead on... you can't cut trees on your land without a permit from them... and that costs over 6,000 dollars to get... it's out of control.
Teddy Roosevelt - a president W claimed to admire - must be rolling in his grave. There appears to be no limit to what W will pawn off in order to pad his cronies bank accounts. Forget about storing nuclear and toxic waste in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Send it to Crawford, Texas.
wow, first human now Endangered Species...sad
I truly do not understand how any person with a brain and a heart could make some of the decisions this man makes. I know he cannot possibly be this terrible and short-sighted. Ecosystems are systems–we are not the only organism here that matters. Take one block out, everything around it crumbles.