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Obama Restoring Endangered Species Act Provision

By Juliet Eilperin
Today President Obama will restore rules requiring U.S. agencies consult with independent federal experts to determine if their actions might harm threatened and endangered species, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified, marking yet another reversal of President Bush's environmental legacy.

In December 2008, the Bush administration changed a longstanding practice under the Endangered Species Act by issuing rules that allowed agencies to move ahead with projects and programs without seeking an independent review by either the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Environmentalists and scientists said this shift could allow agencies to press ahead with plans that could hurt already-vulnerable species across the country.

Today Obama will issue a presidential memorandum, an administration official said, that will direct departments to yet again consult with the two agencies on decisions that could affect imperiled plants and animals "while the Interior and Commerce Departments review the Bush rulemaking."

The move, the official said, "will restore the status quo ante and allow the Interior and Commerce Departments to determine whether a new rule should be promulgated that will again codify the longstanding consultation practice under the" Endangered Species Act.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-W.V.), who had decried the Bush rule and had been trying to reverse it through the legislative process, hailed Obama's decision.

"I wholeheartedly support the president's proposal to restore the protections for endangered species that the Bush administration spent so many years trying to undermine," Rahall said in an interview. "It is one more indication that the new administration truly represents change for the better and is committed to the protection of our natural resources and our environment. I think we know who would have been the winner in this fox guarding the hen house scenario advanced by the Bush administration, and it would not be the hens."

Obama is scheduled to visit the Interior Department this afternoon, to commemorate the agency's 160th anniversary.

Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said the memorandum would have a tremendous impact.

"Endangered species are breathing a deep sigh of relief today," Suckling said. "The consultation process is the heart of the Endangered Species Act power. By reversing Bush's attempt to deregulate the consultation process, Obama restored oversight and balance and has given endangered species a good fighting chance of survival."

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 3, 2009; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama  
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I think that a lot of us see the issue the wrong way. We, in no way, have the right or the authority to stand in someone's way if they wish to have an abortion. Yes, some of us may see it as a waste of life and as a great tragedy, but the truth is that it is not for us to deal with. You will never know the situation that these woman are in for them to have an abortion. Times are rough, true and sometimes people act rashly and have unprotected sex! But is it okay for us to dictate whether or not they have an abortion or keep a child? No. It really isn't. If we say it's okay for CERTAIN people, then we've still erred. What is good for one must be good for all. I love children and I think that people should think long and hard before having unprotected sex, for pregnancy and health reasons, but I also feel that it is a woman's right to seek the help that she feels she deserves. At the end of the day it is she who has to answer to herself. Not us. Just a thought.

Oh, by the way, I think it's great that people from all over can get together and honestly discuss their feelings without getting hurt or being shunned. This is what ultimately makes me feel proud to be an American.

Posted by: feliciasmith1 | March 6, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Okay, well, yes; if we reinstitute the endangered species act(s), we will probably make the planet (or the particular protected area(s)) safer for humans, too. So, I have no problem with this. Still, I do see the irony of the Obama administration in that (he) allows for abortion (and far along, too) while protecting insects and plants. This kind of makes NO sense.

Now; who said RUSH avoided the draft due to a boil on his butt?? That is HILARIOUS! But, I gotta agree about other sentiments regarding Limby..; THIS is the guy the Neo-Cons have installed into their highest seat? Is Rush sharing his, "hillbilly heroine", or what???
Makes NO sense, whatsoever (but when does politics make sense??)..

Posted by: annebeckett | March 4, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse


Our nation's Founding Fathers wished failure for King George.

Posted by: JakeD | March 4, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Hate to say it, gang. But you're going down exactly the path that the "wing-nuts" on both sides of our political discourse are dragging you down. If we are, in fact, one nation -- indivisible it's about time we listened respectfully even to opinions with which we disagree. If we have problems with the course chosen by our leaders let's discuss those problems with an eye on reaching consensus. To wish our leaders failure is to wish the same for our nation -- not a great legacy to leave our children.

Posted by: Factspleez | March 4, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The republicans lost 9 red states in the election and now only 5 states claim to be republican states. I hope the reps never change. The republican party has been hijacked by the neo-con NUTJOBS! Rush Limbaugh avoided serving in Vietnam due to having a boil on his butt! Why didn't he have it lanced? He's been divorced 3 times and pays prostitutes to have sex with him. He bought hillbilly heroin on the black market for at least 10 yrs. and yet he's the leader of the republican party! Mr. family values himself. Not one republican has the courage to stand up to him! The republican party is history. Good riddance!

Posted by: JMSeipp | March 3, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse


Thank you.

Posted by: JakeD | March 3, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8, if you're suggesting that a putatively "endangered species" has a greater moral claim than a single human being, I'm afraid it is you my dear friend who suffers grave moral confusion.

Nothing else in creation -- not the rest of creation in its totality -- is remotely comparable to a single human life.

Posted by: zjr78xva | March 3, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

What the hell is it with you GOP ninnies and abortion? An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, not the murder of a child. A fetus has the genetic potential to become a child. Given some technological help, so does a piece of skin.

It becomes a child at birth, prior to that it's no more human than a fish, only potentially so.

And anyway, to compare even a real infanticide with the extinction of an entire species shows moral idiocy. In my mind anyone who sees any relation is probably subhuman.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | March 3, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: rnguyen1 | March 3, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone has any problem if New Hampshire or Vermont want to make the wild lupine an endangered species and set aside a portion of their woods to protect this wild plant. But, the decision should be made by the state legislatures, not appointed people people here in Washington and this is because the state legislatures are responsible for the economic welfare of their people.

We already went through this with democrat party enviro hacks appointed during the Clinton administration who threatened to make the plains states a sanctuary for prairie dogs and sent wild life people off to Minnesota to make it a sanctuary for lynx by collecting hairs from a pelt that came from Canada.

The endangered species act is not constructed correctly and cannot be reformed as long as WaPo reporters run around as Ra-Ra girls instead of reporters.

Posted by: Slager21 | March 3, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Good JOB!!! This is one less wacko fascist conservative GOP rule that was written so a few could get really rich at the expense of Endangered Species!!

One down, and many more to go.

Posted by: hansenthered | March 3, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Please don't include any Republicans or neo-cons under endangered species protection.

Posted by: wesatch | March 3, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"Meanwhile there are Americans in harms way."

Really? Who are they?

Posted by: castanea | March 3, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"O"h, gush-gush -- he's such a leader, such a speaker, so dashing, so....he's just, you know, "SO"!

Posted by: JAH3 | March 3, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"what about protecting babies instead of promoting abortion? Or are animals more important than children, Mr. President?"

Oh, please. Don't you rightwing loons ever understand what personal choice is about? If you really cared about not having unwanted pregnancies, you'd favor increased education and free contraceptives. It's much easier, though, to manufacture progressive enemies who "promote" abortions.

Now you know why you guys got smoked in the 2006 and 2008 elections, and why you'll get smoked again in 2010. Please, enjoy your irrelevance.

Posted by: castanea | March 3, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness, for our planet and our children.

Posted by: BigRoy | March 3, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on now, we really don't need this because everyone knows that God created the heavens and the earth in six days, (then rested, apparently because it was Sunday), and gave us carte blanche authority to then destroy everything he created, right? Isn't that the way it works for all you religious koo-koos like Palin, Coulter, the so-called Assemblies of God, and yellow-bellied Rush? Who needs all those species anyway when we can just pray for the end of days and not have to worry about it anymore.

Posted by: pookiecat | March 3, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

nice to see this return to normalcy

As Texas Republican Pete Sessions so aptly put

the GOP has talibanned our nation;

it will take a while to clear our legal system of conservative corruption.

A nation that destroys its environment is doomed--

just like we were under GOP rule.

Posted by: lichtme | March 3, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

WOW!! The FIRST thing he did right!

Im going to take a picture since it will probably last longer than the decision...

Posted by: indep2 | March 3, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the middle class couldn't have been put on the endangered species list when Reagan left office. Because today we are poised to be added to the extinct list.

For the first time in my life I can say, I voted for the right guy, at the right time, for the right reasons, it's exhilarating to know that he is on such a fast pace to transform the country.

Posted by: AverageJane | March 3, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

What is torture? Someone give me a Detailed explanation. Is it a barking dog that never bites you? Is it the threat of a bath tub of water? Is it a female interrogator in her underwear? How about being smeared in bacon fat? Meanwhile there are Americans in harms way----maybe your brother or wife, or son. If you wish to know what is torture read what they do to who "they" capture. Want to see some photos?

Posted by: tichy1 | March 3, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Here's a species that needs to be endangered: environmentalist wackos.

Posted by: zjr78xva | March 3, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, thank God! With the Bush venal idiot, nature would have been eliminated for the sake of money. The GOP morons can only see in their warped vision: the grenback sign. Creeps!

Posted by: Gatsby1 | March 3, 2009 2:30 PM

Just another big mouth idiot. Bush actually signed into law the LARGEST protected area in the ocean. However I guess the Libs. missed that, they were to busy complaining and not paying attention.

Here's the sad part. These politicians have to be sitting back just laughing their azzes off watching the stupid people make them self's look even worse. Libs. are famous for posting half truths or the parts they dislike while leaving out the rest. They are the worst sort we have. There’s only one thing worse than a liar its a Democrat.

Posted by: askgees | March 3, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

It's great to protect animals, but (i) shouldn't we stop building roads and homes and leave them alone instead of enacting (or reviving) laws?; and (ii)what about protecting babies instead of promoting abortion? Or are animals more important than children, Mr. President? Just a thought...

Posted by: apm1 | March 3, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness we have a president again who remembers where the environment goes, there go we humans.

Posted by: sarahabc | March 3, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

So how easy it is to distinguish between Democrats and Republicans?

Republicans like to DESTROY and Democrats like to SAVE.

Picking Rush Limbaugh as your de facto leader will DESTROY what is left of the Republicans.

So simple and hiding in plain sight...

Posted by: beenthere3 | March 3, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, thank God! With the Bush venal idiot, nature would have been eliminated for the sake of money. The GOP morons can only see in their warped vision: the grenback sign. Creeps!

Posted by: Gatsby1 | March 3, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Hurray! The bats have a chance! The Western Maryland Rail Trail is planning an extension of its bike path through Indigo Tunnel in the C & O Canal National Park near Hancock, MD. Unfortunately, the abandoned railroad tunnel (3/4 mile long) is home to five species of bats, the Eastern small-footed bat listed by MD as endangered and the federally listed Indiana Bat. MD's former Republican Governor put up $5.5 million tax dollars for this path. With White Nose Syndrome killing droves of bats in caves throughout the Northeast, this may be the last, large healthy hibernaculum left. An environmental impact study is underway.

Posted by: wonders7 | March 3, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama could be the dumbest person to ever live at 1600 Penn. Ave. He wants’ billions for "Shovel ready projects" then makes it so the projects he wishes for cannot be achieved by changing a law that will SLOW DOWN his SHOVEL READY PROJECTS. This man is the biggest fool you all ever elected. If it wasn't so pathetic it would be hilarious.

Posted by: askgees | March 3, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Of all the things Bush tried to do, hastening the extinction of species always struck me as the most unabashedly and indisputably evil. I wish I believed in hell so I could rest assured Bush and Cheney would burn there for eternity.

Nice that Obama got around to this one so promptly. Let's strengthen the ESA.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | March 3, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

That's great news! Now maybe Republicans won't vanish from the face of the earth.

Posted by: nodebris | March 3, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse


I AM of the working class, and I voted for promoting my best interests, the best interests of our economy, the best interests of the nation, and our leadership position in the world.

I voted OBAMA because the entire disasterous mess we're in was created and directed by the incompetent, ignorant, ideologue republican, neo-con Bushco.

I'm working class, yes. I'm also intelligent enough to think for myself and see that trickle-down is voodoo economics.

(FYI - That's a phrase coined by Pres. Bush Sr. to describe the faux economic argument used to feather the nests of the already-rich that is known as "supply-side economics" )

Turn off Rush Limbaugh and turn on your mind.

Posted by: onestring | March 3, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse






Still-secret Bush Justice Department memos are believed to have approved the covert use of classified, silent microwave radiation weapons on U.S. citizens -- "targeted" under the pretext of the "war on terror" as "undesirables" and "dissidents."

Victims, including the journalist who authored the articles linked below, say these painful, debilitating and illness-inducing microwave assaults constitute torture and "slow-kill" (a military descriptive) homicide -- what could be described as an American genocide.

Victims of these assaults say their family finances are decimated by an array of secret "programs of personal financial destruction" that involve the forced cooperation of private enterprise; surveillance and interception of mail and telecommunications; and the forging of billing, utility, banking and mortgage statements -- what they charge is a process of expropriation and theft by deception.

Sources say these covert programs were justified by the Bush Justice Department under legal theories that are said to include a suspected "nexus to terrorism" and, according to a source, the legal theory that weapons and/or medical experimentation on U.S. citizens is permissible if subjects are under federal investigation for suspected offenses.

These microwave weapons assaults have continued under the Obama administration, and are facilitated by an "extrajudicial punishment network" enabled by federal agencies; local police nationwide; and "community gang stalker" citizen vigilantes fronted by government-funded community policing and volunteer organizations.


Victims have asked the FBI/Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation. They say officials have told them they see nothing to investigate, refuse to run down leads, and hint that victim accounts are delusional.

Victims maintain that marginalizing the persecuted as "unstable" or "mentally ill" is a tactic being used to cover up crimes against humanity, a highly organized and well-funded social genocide.



• Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

• Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

• Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction."

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 3, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse


Now undo the last eight years.

Posted by: T-Prop | March 3, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I hope Obama puts the Working Class Tax Paying Citizen onthe Endangered Species List.

Currently he has nothing but contempt for the American Working Class, tax paying citizen.

Hey, I wonder how much Muslim Farts and Burps are contributing to Global Warming. Each time the idiocy of the Global Warming fools are pointed out they morphe their philosophy. They first went after SUVs. It was pointed out Animals contributed more to Carbon than all vehicles combined. They then started after the Animals. What about Muslim Farts and Burps. Lets just exterminate all muslims, and stop Global Warming. That is about a logical as the entire Global Warming, Climate Change movement.

It was 9 degrees this morning at my house. I'm Glad Global Warming is in effect or it would have been 8 1/2 degrees.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | March 3, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Change we can beleive in?

Posted by: parkerfl1 | March 3, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse


What happened to the POTUS Update thread?

Posted by: JakeD | March 3, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

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