The U.S. Senate on Thursday stood up for endangered-species protections.
In the waning days of the Bush presidency, the administration pushed through two species-related rules, one that scaled back scientific reviews for endangered species and another that limited protections for the polar bear specifically. The Obama administration wants to undo those rules, and congressional leaders have stepped up to help, adding language to an omnibus spending bill that gives the admin 60 days to withdraw the rules. The House passed the bill with that language last week.
But earlier this week, Alaskan Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R) and Mark Begich (D) — no fans of polar-bear protections — introduced an amendment that would remove that language. On Thursday, their fellow senators voted down that amendment 52 to 42.
What’s that? The sound of polar bears rejoicing?