Remember when the last administration wanted to change the Endangered Species Act? They wanted to relax the rules to eliminate the input of federal wildlife scientists in some endangered species cases, allowing the federal agency in charge of building, authorizing or funding a project to determine for itself whether the project is likely to harm endangered wildlife and plants.
Well, President Obama has changed it back. Thanks, dude! And thanks to everyone out there who voiced their concern over this proposed change! From the Washington Post:
Today President Obama will restore rules requiring U.S. agencies consult with independent federal experts to determine if their actions might harm threatened and endangered species, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified, marking yet another reversal of President Bush's environmental legacy.
In December 2008, the Bush administration changed a longstanding practice under the Endangered Species Act by issuing rules that allowed agencies to move ahead with projects and programs without seeking an independent review by either the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Environmentalists and scientists said this shift could allow agencies to press ahead with plans that could hurt already-vulnerable species across the country.
Today Obama will issue a presidential memorandum, an administration official said, that will direct departments to yet again consult with the two agencies on decisions that could affect imperiled plants and animals "while the Interior and Commerce Departments review the Bush rulemaking."
The move, the official said, "will restore the status quo ante and allow the Interior and Commerce Departments to determine whether a new rule should be promulgated that will again codify the longstanding consultation practice under the" Endangered Species Act.
You can read the rest of the story here.