Saturday, December 13, 2008

Good bye Mr. Polar Bear! Oh, how we loved thee...

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and his department finalized rules last Thursday changing the way it administers the Endangered Species Act, enabling other government agencies to decide on their own whether a project would harm an imperiled species without an independent scientific review.

They will eliminate some of the mandatory, independent reviews that government scientists have performed for 35 years on dams, power plants, timber sales and other projects, a step that developers and other federal agencies have blamed for delays and cost increases.

Opponents say the move destroys the checks and balances that have helped the government save hundreds of species from extinction under the 1973 law.

"As the Bush Administration fades off into the sunset, it continues to take brazen pot shots at everything in sight, including America's landmark conservation law, the Endangered Species Act," said the House Resources Committee Chairman, Nick Rahall.

~~My question to Kempthorne who says, "Nothing in the regulation relieves a federal agency of its responsibilities to ensure that species are not harmed," is thus, who will now provide the unbiased view? The unbiased, unaffiliated opinion?

Hours after Thursday's announcement, three environmental groups, Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife and Center for Biological Diversity, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco seeking to halt regulations that they say are inconsistent with the act.

The regulations don't require federal agencies to seek consultation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service before approving projects, the lawsuit said.

So, in other words, under the new regulations, the federal agencies would have the discretion of deciding whether or not to ask for a consultation and opinion. They can do what they want, basically, so more logging, powerplants, dams, condos, and freeways, can be put up alot quicker and with alot less RED TAPE. (Red tape = polar bear habitat, wetlands, rivers, etc. You know that stuff in the way of the paved parking lot they want to put in.)

So once again, the tally widens. Bush - 4500, animals and their habitat - 0

How long until he leaves again??


Jen said...

My issue with this is that the more govt control the worse things get. I don't know about polar bears and I don't know much about endangered species so I won't even go there. It is just disturbing to me that once again the govt. runs off and does what they want to do and it never seems like much of a good thing.

Bryce and Mandy said...

Woo Hoo! Good bye Bush. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. :)

This new legislation sounds like a bad idea to me. It just surprises me that it could sound like a good idea to anyone.

Lula O said...

I've read in more than one article that these new regulations were controversial even within the Interior Department. I would bet money it was the scientists that work for them that threw a fit.

Companies that want to build in our National Forest's or on our wetlands, or the Navy with their sonar tests in the ocean (whales), just got a serious break this last week. It will now be alot easier and alot cheaper for them to gain access to these places.

okbushmans said...

Disclaimer: I don't know enough to give an 'educated' opinion. But here's my two cents. There MUST be checks and balances, and that quote in the article piqued my interest. To eliminate them all together, which it sounds like they are doing, is wrong.
I do have to say, however, the checks have to be equally weighted. Just like some oil companies or navy testing or building sites go too far and are irresponsible; some environmentalists go too far in their demands. We need BOTH sides to watch each others backs. And when the pendulum swings too far one way, the other side when it has power tries to pull it too far the other way.
Again, my 'uneducated opinion'.

Lula O said...

The common argument is that the Earth and it's creatures and bounty were created for man - and woman, but aren't we also its steward as well. Its caretaker. Its manager.
Do we have the right to obliterate a species - like the spotted owl in Oregon for example, or now the polar bear or the whales, all in the name of jobs, progress, and cheaper energy?

okbushmans said...

I would hope no one in their right mind (and I mean 'right' as in the 'right wing' mind) would say "Death to Polar Bears! I want to fill my gas hog!" Again, I think there needs to be that check against those companies. But should farmers be taxed for cow flatulants? I think that is on the ridiculous swing of the pendulum the other way.

Lula O said...

That cow poop tax is a far off idea, but it is an issue that needs to be addressed, especially the larger farms. A more likely one, harness the methane for electricity..then everybody wins, except the guy who's in charge of harnessing it.

okbushmans said...

What kind of job title would that be? Flatulant harnesser? Using your fart cart to transport the methane? No thanks!

Jen said...

Lula, I really do agree about taking care of the lands. It was given to us to take care of, we know this through scriture. The only thing that gets me all crazy over this is are we too over the top. Like Okbush said, where are the checks and balances? They certainly are taken away when the govt. assumes control. I'm not being sarcastic, but I really want to know if there is any prophecy regarding the distruction of the land (I haven't seen it, but it's not to say that it isn't there) like there is regarding the constitution. If so, could you please direct me because I really would like to read anything regarding that. Thanks :)

Lula O said...

I don't know anything about that, other than the increase in hurricanes, tornado's, earthquakes, etc. The first two could be attributed to global warming.