Here’s the latest bit of unconscionable news from the U.S. Department of the Interior: Interior Secretary Gale Norton failed to submit comments from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service blasting a proposed Army Corps of Engineers plan to relax wetlands protection rules. As a result, the Army Corps will announce its final version of the plan today without any input from the wildlife service, which claimed the proposal lacked any scientific basis and would "result in tremendous destruction of aquatic and terrestrial habitats." DOI spokesperson Mark Pfeifle said Interior ran out of time to submit formal comments, a situation he blamed on lack of staffing due to the failure of the Democrat-controlled Congress to confirm assignments. But critics say Norton’s suppression of the comments is consistent with her record of neglect of environmental concerns and efforts to curry favor with industry.
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