Bush is after the Endangered Species Act with a lame-duck vengeance bordering on the sociopathic. He’s proposing a whole new way to gut the Endangered Species Act. By cutting scientific review by independent experts, reports the AP.
Normally federal agencies have to consult with scientists at the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service before building roads, dams, mines, and whatnot. You know, in consideration of any one of the 1,353 animal and plant species in danger of extinction. But, no, says Bush. Who needs science when god whispers in your ear?
Not only that, the draft rules would also prohibit federal agencies from assessing greenhouse gas emissions from construction projects. This is Bush’s way of getting back at the listing of the polar bear on climate change grounds.
Senator Barbara Boxer says the draft rules are illegal. Nevertheless the new rules are subject to a 30-day public comment period before they’re law. That’s all. Then Bush can launch his last war against eagles, owls, whales, ferrets, manatees, wolves…
Look for the casualties in court.
Julia Whitty is Mother Jones’ environmental correspondent, lecturer, and 2008 winner of the Kiriyama Prize and the John Burroughs Medal Award.