Brown versus Bush

California sues over White House’s recent changes to the Endangered Species Act

California is fighting back against the Bush administration’s sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act.

Attorney General Jerry Brown (pictured) filed a lawsuit last week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The suit challenges new regulations that have eliminated most of the mandated scientific reviews formerly required of federal projects and decisions that might affect endangered and threatened species and their habitats.

Originally proposed by the Interior Department, the changes allow federal agencies to undertake or permit mining, logging and other activities on federal land and other areas without obtaining review or comment from federal wildlife biologists.

Brown’s complaint alleges the administration violated the ESA by adopting the new regulations. Additionally, it alleges a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedures Act. The lawsuit follows three similar suits filed by environmental groups.