December 2008: BUSH EXIT STRATEGY
The Rush To Ruin Everything For Animals & Environment
1) BLM To Sheep: We Like Roads Better Than You
2) Bush To Penguins: Get A Life, But Not On Our Dime
3) Hack Job: Endangered Species Act Stripped Top To Bottom
4) EPA Says Factory Farms Don’t Have To Report Poop
5) Fish & Wildlife Service Turns Its Back On Polar Bears
6) FDA Was Just Kidding About A Ban On Animal Antibiotics
7) Snowmobiles In Yellowstone National Park - Let Em’ Rip!
8) Goodbye Flowing Streams, Hello Coal Mine Blasters
9) Drill Baby, Drill!
10) Ask Incoming Obama Team For A Swift Repair Job
“Now, as the president’s last term winds to a close, the administration has embarked on a fast-paced anti-regulatory spree... No longer is there even any attempt to disguise its anti-environmental actions with such Orwellian labels as ‘Clear Skies’ and ‘Healthy Forests.’” From a St. Louis Post Dispatch Op-Ed piece
1. BLM To Sheep: We Like Roads Better Than You
2.Bush To Penguins: Get A Life, But Not On Our Dime
“Penguin populations are in jeopardy and we can’t afford to further delay protections,” said Brendan Cummings, oceans program director at the Center. “The denial of protection for the emperor penguin ignores the science on global warming and ignores the law. We are confident it will be overturned by either the courts or the new administration.”
3. Hack Job: Endangered Species Act Stripped Top To Bottom
Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced regulations that eviscerate our nation’s most successful wildlife law by exempting thousands of federal activities, including those that generate greenhouse gases, from review under the Endangered Species Act. The regulations were published in the Federal Register today. A lawsuit filed...by the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace and Defenders of Wildlife the day the regulations were announced, December 11, drew Judge Marilyn Patel.
“These regulations undermine fundamental protections for the nation’s endangered species,” said Noah Greenwald, biodiversity program director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “We hope an Obama administration or Congress will act quickly to undo this 11th hour attempt to weaken our most important law for protecting wildlife.”
The lawsuit argues that the regulations violate the Endangered Species Act and did not go through the required public review process. The regulations, proposed August 11, were rushed by the Bush administration...with more than 300,000 public comments reviewed in 2-3 weeks. Environmental impacts were analyzed in a short and cursory environmental assessment, rather than a fuller environmental impact statement...
As an early Christmas gift to industry, Bush's policies exempted greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, oil and gas drilling, and other harmful developments from the Endangered Species Act...
And if that weren't bad enough, Bush also exempted tens of thousands of logging, mining, road building and development projects from Endangered Species Act review. Rather than have U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists independently review these actions, the Bush policy allows the agencies proposing the logging and mining to do the review themselves... Unfortunately, there are more bad regulations affecting clean air, clean water and our oceans coming down the pipe... STAY TUNED, Center For Biological Diversity
4. EPA Says Factory Farms Don’t Have To Report Poop
The Bush administration exempted certain large factory farms from a requirement to report emissions of noxious gases from animal waste, angering environmentalists and handing another policy victory to business interests before President-elect Barack Obama and his environmental team take office.
Under a rule change, the Environmental Protection Agency will allow so-called concentrated animal feeding operations — large scale factory farms — not to disclose to authorities when air emissions of hazardous substances like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide exceed certain levels when the source of those emissions is manure.
The agency's move...has stirred opposition from environmental groups and some members of Congress who worry that the EPA lacks information and a clear strategy for regulating mega-farms that have stirred controversy in some communities because of concerns about foul odors and water pollution...
5. Fish & Wildlife Service Turns Its Back On Polar Bears
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will deny the polar bear the appropriate and necessary protections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)...
Listing polar bears as threatened should help protect polar bear habitat from threats such as oil and gas development, which the Bush administration is aggressively pursuing in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska and has proposed in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (which provides the primary land denning habitat for polar bears).
6. FDA Was Just Kidding About A Ban On Animal Antibiotics
The Food and Drug Administration will allow the widespread use of a class of powerful antibiotics in food-producing animals, making a last-minute reversal after calling the practice a public-health risk in July. The agency's bid this summer to ban many uses of cephalosporin drugs in cows, swine, chickens and other animals came under fire from the industry. Agriculture groups and animal- drug makers, including Pfizer Inc., said the antibiotics are needed to prevent many infectious diseases in animals...
7. Snowmobiles In Yellowstone National Park - Let Em’ Rip!
A last-minute regulation published by the Bush Administration opens Yellowstone National Park, the country's most famous sanctuary for wildlife, to significantly more harm from snowmobiles than a federal court rejected in September as unlawful. The regulation authorizes double the level of snowmobile use recommended just last month by scientists and park managers in the National Park Service.
The regulation joins a growing list of measures adopted by the White House in recent weeks that have weakened protections for citizens and the environment. A coalition of non-profit conservation organizations that advocates for lawful and science-based stewardship of Yellowstone today filed a challenge to the new regulation. The groups asked the same federal court...to require the National Park Service to uphold the fundamental purpose of the national park system "to conserve park resources and values..."
8. Goodbye Flowing Streams, Hello Coal Mine Blasters
The Environmental Protection Agency signed off on a controversial 11th hour repeal of the stream buffer zone rule, a law which since 1983 has prohibited surface coal mining activities within 100 feet of flowing streams. The repeal of this protection clears the way for an even greater expansion of mountaintop removal mining — mining coal by blasting off the tops of mountains, and bulldozing the crumbled peaks into adjoining valleys... EPA’s approval comes in spite of a recent wave of criticism directed generally at the outgoing administration’s midnight regulations...
9. Drill Baby, Drill!
The Bureau of Land Management has expanded its oil and gas lease program in eastern Utah to include tens of thousands of acres on or near the boundaries of three national parks, according to revised maps published this week. National Park Service officials say the decision to open lands close to Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, and Canyonlands National Park was made without consultation that had previously been routine.
The inclusion of the new lease tracts angered environmental groups, which were already critical of the bureau’s original lease proposal, made public this fall, because they said it could lead to industrial activity in empty areas of the state, some prized for their sweeping vistas, like Desolation Canyon, and others for their ancient petroglyphs, like Nine Mile Canyon...
10. Ask Incoming Obama Team For A Swift Repair Job
Ask them to un-do every item in this laundry list and to restore fundamental protections for endangered species. Ask them to fulfill a vision not only for people — but for animals and environment too.
Remind them: The treatment of animals matters to many Americans, including YOU. It should matter to our elected officials as well.
...And while you’re at it: How about repealing that idiotic Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act?
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