Bye-bye, Bush rule

Obama reverses regulations that affect endangered species

A little over a month into his administration, President Obama is set to issue a memorandum that once again requires federal agencies to protect threatened and endangered species.

Obama’s decision overrules controversial changes made to the Endangered Species Act by former President George W. Bush during his last few months in office. Those “midnight regulations” eliminated a requirement that federal agencies consult with biologists on projects with the potential to harm imperiled species and plants.

Obama made his announcement last week at the Interior Department and was heralded for the decision by conservation groups throughout the nation, including the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Throughout his campaign, the president committed to restoring scientific integrity to our government,” NRDC Director Andrew Wetzler said in a press statement. “Undoing the last administration’s damage to the Endangered Species Act will enable scientists to work with federal agencies and ensure that new projects do not harm threatened wildlife.”