December 12th, 2008
02:01 PM ET
5 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. Chuck in LA

    What an awful, awful, awful human being.

    January 20 can't come soon enough.

    December 12, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. No incumbents 2010

    Are you the same folks who are griping about the economy?

    December 12, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. ran

    January 20,2009 really can not get here fast enough. Bush is going to do all he can to screw the american people before he gets out.

    December 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. waxwing069

    If Bush is such a bible reader, he would remember what it says in Genesis where God put Man in charge of caretaking of all creatures and creations. That means Taking care of ALL species and making sure they are Potected!!! Yet here Bush is, going against what God requested us as a superior species to do. There is a very special place in the world of fire for Bush and his cronies... May God have mercy on all of them...

    December 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. Bushwacking America

    As if this incompetent, emotionally unstable man had not already done more damage to this great nation in every way imaginable, he is taking his parting shots. Clearly he has no regard for the common good of this nation. Hope he get tried for war crimes.

    December 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Jack

    Let's just hope that the republican party is added to the endangered species list soon!

    I'd rather save the whales!

    December 12, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. FreeNLovIt

    Oh Dear, calling ALL.... Last chance to take a picture with a real animal !!!!

    December 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz

    YOU PEOPLE JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND BUSH.

    HE CAN'T LEAVE OFFICE WITHOUT CAUSING AS MUCH

    NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL DAMAGE AS HE CAN !!!

    HE HAS A RECORD TO MAINTAIN.DESTRUCTION

    FROM DAY ONE, TILL THE LAST SECOND IN OFFICE.

    December 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Charm

    Not worried at all. Congress will block it.

    December 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. A loner in NC

    I hope and pray that PE Obama reverses this after he's sworn in office.

    December 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Was "W" sent to totally ruin this country? He has done nothing but wreck the economy, wreck the environment, bring our standing in the world to a all-time low, and now he wants to kill our endangered species as well. I'm afraid there is a special place in h-ll for people like him.

    December 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. juansuero

    how about we take the 700 billion and put it towards anti aging technologies.. we are very close seriously. wake up human race lets get our priorities straight. you spend billions on new cellphones everyyear and die from cancers etc.. that can be solved if we concentrate our efforts on the real problems of our existence... forget standard of living.. how bout more healthy living.
    I dont need 6 figure job to be happy playing baseball every weekend for the next 1000 years.

    December 12, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. LF Oneto

    Acting President Obama will be busy undoing the damage that this imbecile has done. BO will appoint environmental professionals/ scientists to deal with the disaster left by this administration. Lets hope that the damage is not irreversible.

    December 12, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. bitter_in_pa

    The Dem congress wont overturn this... none of them have the agates to stand up to this administration or to big money. And Obama is already showing he is weaker than we had hoped.

    December 12, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. please

    Matt – you hit the nail on the head

    December 12, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. chelle

    My god. Does this man seriously not understand what his legacy will be? He's going down as the worst President in history, and in soooooooooo many different ways.....

    December 12, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. Wise White Guy

    Bush you are a complete Jackazz! This is what Republicans are all about. Forget the future and worry about putting as much green in your pocket as possible and let our kids and grand kids pay the price.

    December 12, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. Darko

    You mean environmentalist won't be able to block any meaningful development of our industries for years and years with baseless, unjustified and meritless lawsuits?

    Oh darn...

    December 12, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. P Hollis

    just when we thought he couldn't do any worse....

    December 12, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. Vicki5

    I just can't believe there are no laws to stop a mentally ill person who happens to be our president, from destroying the country. What if he was brain-washed or something, and he really does want to destroy this country? What kind of stupid are we if we have no laws to stop him. OMG OMG

    December 12, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. That's The Ronald

    And to top it all off, while Americans are losing their homes, he’s moving into a $2 million spread in January at our expense. Folks, we can’t let him walk. He’s caused us and this poor earth nothing but ruin. There has to be a way to sue him, or put him behind bars. Write your congressman. Let’s see a full investigation of this administration and put this idiot away. It time for citizen action!

    December 12, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. James C

    If I was a Believer, I'd be certain that GW Bush was the Anti-Christ. Has he no understanding of or respect for the Natural World? What an appalling human he is.

    December 12, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. Roy - Chicago Il

    Well this is the final chapter in the sordid Bush legacy.....mess up even MORE before stepping down!

    December 12, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    There are thirty-nine days until we can start working to repair the damage that George Bush and the GOP has inflicted on the environment and climate.

    Their contemptable legacy on environmental and climate issues, in the names of profit and the almighty dollar, will sicken generations to come.

    December 12, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  25. Milhouse van Houten

    Is there no end to the trouble this man can cause.

    December 12, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
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