Cross another item off of President Bush's to-do list before he leaves the White House: hobbling the Endangered Species Act and allowing federal agencies to gauge the environmental impact of their projects for themselves. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said the changes were needed to ensure that the ESA would not be used as a "back door" to regulate greenhouse gases.
“I can’t express how extremely disappointed I am that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has chosen to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act," Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski said in a statement issued today. [more inside]
U.S. May Expand Access To Endangered Species. With this year being the 30th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, the Bush Administration is considering proposals that "would allow hunters, circuses and the pet industry to kill, capture and import animals on the brink of extinction in other countries."