December 12th, 2008
02:01 PM ET
14 years ago

Environmentalists blast changes to Endangered Species rules

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Clark

    We can thank this mental retard, with the help of his mentally
    challenged evangelicals, for the absolute devastation he inflicted on
    this country and the world.

    December 12, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. David Goldman





    December 12, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Don

    This BUM is just handing out cookies as fast as he can to his corporate buddies and could care less about what it costs the planet.

    Throw this BUM out on the street now. If he had to face the people one on one and face to face at this point I bet he would find out they are wayyyyyyyyyyyy past "upset" with him!

    December 12, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. libbssuck1

    Who cares what the wackos say! these nuts are more damaging than help! Look at the grey wolf debacle and the polar bear hoax. these moronic fools should mind their own business in the own home states instead of getting their names in the news like a bunch of crimminals. Way to go Bush!

    December 12, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. liz

    I wonder how many people on here who NOW say that Bush is so awful voted for him TWICE. yes this is horrible, yes he has continually offended and destroyed.

    and yes, millions of people voted FOR him. repeatedly.

    I'd also liek to know how many screaming about saving the environment just threw out your plastic water bottle instead of recycling it and drove by yourself in a giant SUV to work from your barely insulated McMansion 50 miles out of the city.

    Most people throwing blame around should look in the mirror.

    December 12, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. yellow dog democrat

    to those of you who "flaunt your anit-environmental views" I hope you have to open your windows to the smell of crude oil being pumped out in your backyard – and see the scum covered water flow by your front porch and see the dead fish float serenely by! The dead ducks laying in the yard and the smell of rotting flesh in the woods – no sounds of singing birds or humming bees – keep pushing the earth to its limits – it can heal if we get rid of the likes of you!

    December 12, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. Patty

    There will be NOTHING NEW with Obama. He got himself elected with pretty speeches and $700 billion + - SUCKERS!

    At the end of the day, Obama will be "business as usual," which is all he knows as a scum Chicago-bred politician. (Remember his record in Chicago, where he had others running for office ELIMINATED on bogus minutia?)

    Change? Don't think so !!!!!!!!!!!

    Welcome to the world of NO-Change Obama!

    December 12, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. Greg Hodges

    As if there needs to be more proof that Republicans/conservatives will never get it; as far as saving endangered species goes; we add this latest chapter of Big Business (first/last/ and always) to the long list of sticking their heads in the ground over all things environmental. If this planet continues on it`s current path; Earth will be a dead planet in the not-so-distant future. Rachel Carson warned us 50 years ago that we are heading for the cliff; but still these neanderthals keep stampeding ahead. God help us all!!!

    December 12, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. SA in OO

    I PREDICT . . .

    If you think this act is bad, just wait to see what Bush does, by executive order, in the very last days of his presidency.

    There two lessons here. Born again Christians and recovered alcoholics should never be president. Many recovering alcoholics find the absolute belief in something other than their own ability to deal with life as a salvation. You can't think about whether it would be OK to have just one drink. This turns out to be one of the few ways for substance addicted people to make it out of the terrible cycle of addiction.

    The same approach, based on blind faith, is not however a great attribute for a presidential leader. People who have come to realize they are no longer capable of thinking their way through the trials and tribulations life throws at them can find solice and strength believing instead of thinking as a way of getting through each day.

    That works when the decisions you are struggling with DO have a clear an obvious right and wrong. Sobriety is good; alcoholism is bad. Simple formulas work for simple problems. The same can't be said for virtually any of the decisions that the country and therefore the president must deal with on a daily basis.

    December 12, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. Juan Grain

    Don't touch nothing else, don't touch, just leave and dont let the screen door hit you in the A$$ when you leave, Don't leave mad, just leave.

    December 12, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |


    December 12, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. HouseDiva

    Please Bush! Don't do anything else...just LEAVE!!

    December 12, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. Larry

    The liberal bums in congress are the one's doing this,Bush is just allowing it to happen by signing.Attack your liberal bureaucrats.

    December 12, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  14. Charlie in Maine

    On January 20, 2009 we will welcome science back to the Federal government. I for one can't wait. I am not someone who expects Barack Obama to be perfect but I can't wait for a president who sees facts as something to be considered and not ignored.

    December 12, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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