Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Interior Puts Polar Bears on the Endangered Species List

The good news is that the Interior Dept. put the polar bear on the Endangered Species List. The bad news is that there are some rarely used exceptions that allow oil and gas exploration to pretty much ignore the law. What's new for Shrub's bunch? What more can you expect from Dirk Kempthorne the Secretary of the Interior who is on the record as not supporting the Endangered Species Act.

Don't be deluded by the fact that the Bush administration finally reacted to the plight of the polar bear...they didn't have a choice.
Few natural resource decisions have been as closely watched or been the subject of such vehement disagreement within the Bush administration as this one, according to officials in the Interior Department and others familiar with the process. After the department missed a series of deadlines, a federal judge ruled two weeks ago that the decision had to be made by Thursday.
In other words, after being forced by the law to do something they took the politically expedient route but under the table they made sure their owners,the oil and gas industry, could safely ignore the law.
The provision of the act that the department is using to lighten the regulatory burden that the listing imposes on the oil and gas industry — known as a 4(d) rule — was designed to permit flexibility in the management of threatened species, as long as the chances of conservation of the species would be enhanced, or at least not diminished.
Like virtually everything else the Shrub has touched this is covered in bloody oil money.

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