Endangered Species Act to be undermined by new rules

This is outrageous. The Bush administration is trying to introduce some kind of executive rule that would allow federal agencies to conveniently ignore the impact of projects on endangered species. Not only that, but the new rule would apparently ban federal agencies from assessing the greenhouse gas emissions from projects. You need to go read the story, there's one at Yahoo!. There are some additional reactions at gristmill.

I suppose that some might believe this argument that the current system is bloated and that federal agencies really can do their own assessments. However, the idea of independent review is so fundamental to science, and is so successful, that to just throw it aside for an intrinsically flawed self-evaluation system seems ludicrous to me.

We'll see how this plays out. Whether my paranoid, leftist brain is overpowering my rational, pragmatic one will come clear in the coming weeks and months.

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