Thursday, 11 December 2008

Bush reverses 35 years of endangered species protection... order to help his bigwig pals — concerned only with their money — who have gained from the past eight years of environmental injustice. Pulling America backwards, thanks George W!


Just six weeks before President-elect Barack Obama takes office, the Bush administration issued revised endangered species regulations Thursday to reduce the input of federal scientists and to block the law from being used to fight global warming.

The changes, which will go into effect in about 30 days, were completed in just four months. But they could take Obama much longer to reverse.

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.

The rules also prohibit federal agencies from evaluating the effect on endangered species and the places they live from a project's contribution to increased global warming.

Bush is trying to maximize the damage he does to America during his last days in office (mostly to the environment, but also abortion/employment rights).

From a must read Rolling Stone article:
"It's what we've seen for Bush's whole tenure, only accelerated," says Gary Bass, executive director of the nonpartisan group OMB Watch. "They're using regulation to cement their deregulatory mind-set, which puts corporate interests above public interests."

While every modern president has implemented last-minute regulations, Bush is rolling them out at a record pace — nearly twice as many as Clinton, and five times more than Reagan. "The administration is handing out final favors to its friends," says Véronique de Rugy, a scholar at George Mason University who has tracked six decades of midnight regulations. "They couldn't do it earlier — there would have been too many political repercussions. But with the Republicans having lost seats in Congress and the presidency changing parties, Bush has nothing left to lose."

Easily the worst president in the past 100 years — yes, it's my personal opinion that Bush has had a more destructive reign than recent blunders like Reagan and Nixon. One hopes there will be no worse leaders in this century.

Just imagine folks — in less than a month and a half we'll have a new president with a reasonably level head! It's going to feel good.

I expect President-elect Obama not only to reverse these horrendous last-minute executive actions by Bush, but also to move America forward in terms of environmental regulation. Hopefully the government will begin to protect what needs protecting (the poor, the environment) instead of powerful business interests who already hold far too much sway. Hopefully the value of what can not be replaced (including human lives) will overtake the value of a dollar. One can only hope.

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