Bush admin tries sneaky attack on endangered-species protections
The Bush administration is trying to push through changes to the Endangered Species Act that would — surprise! — be detrimental to endangered species. Under regulatory changes proposed Monday, tens of thousands of projects funded, built, or authorized by federal agencies each year would be exempt from currently mandated independent reviews. Instead, the administration has determined that federal agencies now have the know-how to decide whether highways, dams, mines, and the like would harm endangered species — and the regulations would not allow agencies to include greenhouse-gas emissions in those calculations. “We believe federal action agencies will err on the side of caution in making these determinations,” says the proposal. Ha ha ha! Oh, that’s not a joke? The proposed changes require only a 30-day public comment period — not congressional approval — before being finalized.