Obama Bounces Bush ESA Changes

Reversal Signals Renewed Focus on Science at the Heart of Federal Actions

CHICAGO (April 28, 2008) – The Obama administration announced today that they would be dumping eleventh-hour Bush Administration changes to the Endangered Species Act that would have  dramatically weakened the landmark wildlife protection law. The decision will once again require federal agencies to consult with experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before taking action that could impact threatened or endangered species. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other groups had sued to roll back the Bush Administration changes that have now been repealed.

Following are comments from Rebecca Riley, an attorney with NRDC’s Endangered Species Program.

"For decades, the Endangered Species Act has used sound science as the guide to protect America’s most vulnerable plants and animals. Today the Obama administration reaffirmed that politics should not be the driver of these protections. Our nation needs to start investing in new and better infrastructure projects, and restoring this law will make sure we do so without harming our endangered plants and animals."