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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Endangered Species Act

For 35 years the Endangered Species Act has protected plants and animals that are on the brink of extinction. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration wants to change the act. They are targeting the important Section 7 of the act. As of now, Section 7 has independent experts reviewing projects. Currently federal agencies need to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service or Fish and Wildlife to determine whether a project would affect species and/or its habitat.

If the Bush Administration has its way, no experts would be involved in reviewing new projects. Instead, certain federal agencies such as the Department of Transportation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the Office of Surface Mining would have the authority to review projects and let the projects procede. They would be doing this without consulting important independent biologists or botanists who are experts in this type of decision making. In other words, the Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants.

It is ridiculous that agencies whose missions are building roads and leasing land and waters for mines and oil drilling will have the power to assess the environment. Their main concern will not be the endangered animals and plants. Their main concern is money, building, and doing anything possible to fulfill their selfish goals.

1,353 animals and plants in the U.S. are listed as threatened or endangered. We need to protect them.



Please sign a petition to protect America's endangered species. It is sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund. Click here to sign.


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