Press Releases

Senator Feinstein Applauds Move by Obama Administration to Lift Bush Administration’s Consultation Rule

- Lifting last-minute Bush consultation rule will help restore science to Administration’s decision-making process for the Endangered Species Act -

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded the move by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to lift the Bush Administration’s consultation rule. This last-minute Bush rule, which was rushed through the public comment period in late 2008, excluded expert wildlife scientists from weighing in on the impacts of federal projects on endangered species.

“This is very good news,” said Senator Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. “Lifting the Bush consultation rule will enable the Obama Administration to take immediate action to ensure that the expert wildlife scientists are once again consulted on impacts to endangered and threatened species. I applaud Secretaries Salazar and Locke for their leadership on this key issue.

“Here’s why this is so important: under the 2008 consultation rule, agencies tasked with implementing federal development projects were put in charge of evaluating the impacts to species on the brink of extinction, rather than independent wildlife biologists in charge of protecting species.  This undermined the Endangered Species Act.

“Today’s move will ensure that the Obama Administration will fully shore up the consultation process and put an end to the Bush Administration’s deficient consultation policy.”