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Post details: Obama overturns Bush endangered species rule

Mar 4 '09

President Obama on Tuesday overturned a last-minute Bush administration regulation that many environmentalists claim weakened the Endangered Species Act.

The regulation, issued a few weeks before George W. Bush left office, made it easier for federal agencies to skip consultations with government scientists before launching projects that could affect endangered wildlife.

By overturning the regulation, Obama said during an enthusiastic reception at the Interior Department, he had restored "the scientific process to its rightful place at the heart of the Endangered Species Act, a process undermined by past administrations."

Under the Bush administration rule, there was no need for a federal agency to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Services if that agency determined that no harm would come to an endangered species as a result of its project.

But the determination of what "no harm" meant rested with agency bureaucrats instead of scientists.

Two thumbs up Obama, definAtely a step in the right direction on this one.

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