Friday, November 21, 2008
Species Act revision still not decided Bush administration officials said Thursday they do not plan to finalize revisions of the Endangered Species Act this week, contradicting news reports saying that they would push the revisions through by Friday so a new administration could not easily undo them. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said the revisions eliminate unnecessary procedural reviews for activities that are unlikely to harm protected species. However, conservation groups argue that the change will eliminate the input of some federal scientists. Interior Department spokesman Chris Paolino said Thursday that the revisions are still being finalized and would not speculate on when they would be ready. Some news reports said the new rules must be published in the Federal Register 60 days prior to the Obama administration taking office so that they would officially take effect before the new administration could easily reverse them. But Paolino said the rules actually take effect 30 days after they are published, so there is still time left....Prediction: Bushies finalize regs, enviros file suit, judge issues restraining order, Obama justice dept capitulates to enviros, judge throws the rule out.