Obama overturns Bush’s endangered species policy


This pro-Obama video from the 2008 election campaign says about itself:

Polar bears aren’t the only endangered species the Republicans are going after… the American middle class!

From CNN in the USA:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Obama on Tuesday overturned a last-minute Bush administration regulation that many environmentalists claim weakened the Endangered Species Act.

The regulation, issued a few weeks before George W. Bush left office, made it easier for federal agencies to skip consultations with government scientists before launching projects that could affect endangered wildlife.

By overturning the regulation, Obama said during an enthusiastic reception at the Interior Department, he had restored “the scientific process to its rightful place at the heart of the Endangered Species Act, a process undermined by past administrations.”

Under the Bush administration rule, there was no need for a federal agency to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Services if that agency determined that no harm would come to an endangered species as a result of its project.

But the determination of what “no harm” meant rested with agency bureaucrats instead of scientists.

5 thoughts on “Obama overturns Bush’s endangered species policy

  1. Undoing Bush-era policies is going to take some time, but this is one that needs to be addressed right away. Drilling in the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska would threaten marine mammals who make the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas their homes – and the local cultures that depend on them for their very way of life.

    Please take action to protect these marine mammals.

    Bob Fertik
    Dear Activist,

    The Arctic seas are no place for hasty drilling!

    Tell the Minerals Management Service to halt all new oil and gas leases!

    Polar bears, walruses, seals, whales and ocean-going birds like eider ducks and loons call the Arctic Ocean home. Their survival in an environment seemingly so inhospitable is a wonder of nature. But as climate change continues unabated, these creatures – already facing a harsh environment – become some of the most vulnerable on earth.

    Incredibly, their plight may get worse, as the Minerals Management Service (MMS) considers offering 73 million acres of Arctic waters to oil and gas leasing. That’s an area the size of Arizona.

    It’s critically important that you speak out in defense of these creatures.

    The receding ice cap has made it harder for the animals – marine and land-based – to get around and find food, including the polar bears that hunt and mate here each year, and the Pacific walruses that live here year round. In fact, 90 percent of the entire Pacific walrus population can be found in these waters.

    But not just wildlife is at stake. Wholesale leasing in this area would endanger the centuries-old way of life of Native communities, whose very culture centers on wildlife and ecosystem integrity.

    Please click here to tell the MMS to halt new leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

    There is simply no safe way to drill in these waters. Studies have shown that even seismic testing of potential drilling sites is known to have an impact on marine animals’ habits and lifecycles. And research conducted by the MMS indicates that with extensive drilling, small crude oil and other petroleum spills are inevitable. MMS predicts a 40% chance of a large spill. Making matters worse, the technology to clean up a spill in icy Arctic waters doesn’t even exist.

    We need science to guide decisions with such long-lasting effects, not pressure from the oil and gas industry. Until there is scientific evidence that drilling won’t harm wildlife, all new oil leases should be taken off the table.

    Write the MMS today to ask that they halt all new leases until the science on drilling is in.

    Thanks for all you do,

    Kathy Kilmer
    The Wilderness Society

    Like

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