Obama Presidency
Obama Presidency

Green Groups Praise Obama's Stand on Endangered Species Act

| by DeepDiveAdmin
WASHINGTON --- President Barack Obama announced today that he would undo last-minute changes made by the Bush administration to the Endangered Species Act. The changes, made in December 2008, would weaken and limit the use of the landmark wildlife protection law, according to scientists and attorneys at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The NRDC and other environmental groups issued statements about Obama's decision.

Andrew Wetzler of NRDC:
Obama’s announcement will allow this landmark law to do what it was intended: protect our nation’s endangered plants and animals. Reversing the Bush administration’s midnight action will restore protections for our last wild places and species. Throughout his campaign, the president committed to restoring scientific integrity to our government. Undoing the last administration’s damage to the Endangered Species Act will enable scientists to work with federal agencies and ensure that new projects do not harm threatened wildlife.”

Carl Pope of the Sierra Club:
Today's announcement marks the unequivocal return of science to the agencies that govern our fish, wildlife, and natural resources. The Bush rules would have allowed agencies with little or no wildlife expertise to make decisions that could mean life or death for animals like the polar bear. When it comes to protecting wildlife, we should listen to the scientists who spend their lives studying these animals. These midnight regulations represented all the disdain for science and political trumping of expertise that characterized the Bush Administration's efforts to dismantle fundamental environmental laws.Our wildlife are clearly in much better hands now. President Obama is bringing science back into decision-making. 

Michael Bean of the Environmental Defense Fund:

"Today's action by the President to restore scientific oversight of federal agencies in order to protect endangered wildlife is another example of President Obama righting environmental wrongs created by his predecessor. It is also another indication that science is once again respected within the White House.

"The President's decision fits squarely within his authority to direct federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (NFMS) on all projects that may affect endangered species, a practice customary in previous administrations. With this action Mr. Obama has restored the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS to their rightful authority as scientific advisers to federal agencies and has signaled that the Endangered Species Act, like many of the plants and animals it protects, is on its way to recovery."