Obama Reverses Bush Rewrite of Endangered Species Act

by kespeland on March 4, 2009

To the delight of many environmental groups, President Obama issued a memorandum Tuesday directing federal agencies to play by the old rules of the Endangered Species Act.  Those rules require agencies that are contemplating any action that could affect an endangered species–such as a highway expansion–to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service prior to taking action.

In mid-December 2008, the Bush administration revised the ESA under the guise of streamlining government projects.  Critics called the move yet another attempt to weaken science-based standards. It wasn’t the first time the ESA had come under attack; Congressional critics, especially from the Western U.S., argued the ESA’s required procedures hampered landowners who had to follow rigorous rules to protect species found on their land and that it also threatened economic development.

A return to the pre-December rule signals to many that Mr. Obama is much more receptive to science–and some environmental concerns–than his predecessor.

The rule could have implications in Kentucky, which is home to a dozen federally recognized endangered species as well as dozens of candidates for the list.  They include several species of freshwater mussels and the white, fringeless orchid.

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Uncle B March 15, 2009 at 11:24 am

Thank You President Obama! We can survive quite comfortably without destroying the environment if we stop to think and make the right choices. If we continue with rampant unregulated vulture capitalist exploitation by Multi-National investment interests, we the people will be “nickeled and dimed” out of existence by the corporate folks – read up on the rules of “Incorporation” especially as to where the responsibilities and patriotism lie! In China, non-corporate, and truly free of vulture capitalism, the tainters of the milk supply were Shot In Public! The capitalistic business leaders who Broke wall street and the nation here in America, whom should have been summarily shot to death for Treason, in public! were rewarded large sums of cash and golden parachutes for their disastrous deeds! Some contrast! Will the lobbies cause the same distortions of truth in the Obama Adm? Greatfully and apparently not!

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