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House Democrats seek to overturn Bush species rule

House Democrats seek to overturn Bush species rule

A group of Democratic lawmakers on Thursday moved to overturn a last-minute rule by the Bush administration intended to reduce input from U.S. government scientists when evaluating whether dams, power plants or other projects might harm endangered species.
The 13 House members introduced a resolution in an attempt to use a 1996 law that gives Congress the authority to review a regulation. It has been used once in the past 12 years.
In December, the Bush administration finalized changes to endangered species regulations to allow federal agencies, without consulting government experts, to decide wildlife or plans would be endangered by power plants, dams and other projects.
For the past 35 years, regulations have required government biologists to be consulted in all cases _ even when a project is unlikely to harm threatened wildlife or the places they live.
The Interior Department has called the changes "narrow" and said they would focus expertise on cases where it is needed most.
Rep. Nick Rahall, a Democrat, and lead sponsor of the resolution, said his goal was "to overturn a rule that served as the Bush administration's final assault on, and insult to, one of the nation's landmark environmental laws."


Updated : 2021-03-09 15:21 GMT+08:00