Bush administration hustles through ESA rule change with minimal feedback; Obama opposes
So, remember that proposed rule change for the Endangered Species Act, the one that would effectively gut it?
A few interesting details. Normally, the Fish and Wildlife Service has a 90-day comment period for a rule change like this. When the draft of this rule change was first released, it was cut to 60. Now it’s down to 30. "In this case, it was determined that we need to move forward in a timely fashion," said Interior Department spokeswoman Tina Kreisher. Mm hm.
Also, they’re not having any public hearings on this. And if that’s not enough, the FWS instituted a little change in its own rules, back in Dec. ’07. It seems they’ll no longer accept comments over email. For real. (For more on this, see Andrew Wetlzler.)
Clearly the Bush administration is keen to hear what you have to say!
Speaking of the ESA debacle, what do our valiant presidential candidates think about it?
"This 11th-hour ruling from the Bush administration is highly problematic. After over 30 years of successfully protecting our nation’s most endangered wildlife like the bald eagle, we should be looking for ways to improve it, not weaken it," said Obama campaign spokesman Nick Shapiro. "As president, Senator Obama will fight to maintain the strong protections of the Endangered Species Act and undo this proposal from President Bush."
A spokesman for Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee, said he had no comment on Bush’s revisions.