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Author Topic: Bush Aims to Relax Endangered Species Rules  (Read 1648 times)

Offline sam

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Bush Aims to Relax Endangered Species Rules
« on: August 13, 2008, 12:10 »
some disgusting news here..

Just months before U.S. President George Bush leaves office, his administration is proposing changes that would allow federal agencies to decide for themselves whether subdivisions, dams, highways, and other projects have the potential to harm endangered animals and pla

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Offline Rik

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Re: Bush Aims to Relax Endangered Species Rules
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2008, 12:15 »
He seems to be aiming for a scorched earth policy. :(


Offline mistybear

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Re: Bush Aims to Relax Endangered Species Rules
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2008, 12:47 »
Not surprising really, paving the way for mining and oil exploration regardless of endangered wildlife. The pillage and plunder of the earths resources will only escalate, and people wonder why the US needs a missile defence system.

Bush backs Alaskan oil drilling

The US argues the area would help its energy security US President George W Bush has lifted a ban on oil and gas drilling in an Alaskan Bay known for its wildlife.

Before any drilling, there will be scope for studies and public comment said the Interior Department, which stressed the need for energy security.

Home to endangered whales, the Bristol Bay is thought to contain some 200 million barrels of oil.

The news comes as a trans-Alaska pipeline was shut down after some 500 gallons of crude oil were spilled.

The spill came from a section above ground in the Brooks Range in northern Alaska, due to a faulty weld, and it remains unknown how long the shutdown will last.


By lifting the ban in the Bristol Bay, some 5.6 million acres (2.3 million hectares) of land will be open for assessment by the Interior Department.

As well as oil, the bay is said to house some 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under, somewhere between three and twenty miles from shore.

Moves in the past to drill the area have been met with anger from environmentalists as well as the local fishing community, for whom the bay has a significant interest.

"The president has opened the door for us," said Stanley Mack, mayor of the Aleutians East Borough.

"We're going to walk through it very cautiously," he added.

The important role of fishing - including salmon and red king crab - led Congress to prevent the area from being drilled following a huge oil spill by the Exxon Valdez tanker in 1989.

Exxon is not the only firm to have spilled oil in Alaska.

BP had to close part of its Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska in March 2006 after 200,000 gallons leaked from corroded pipes, prompting severe criticism for the firm's poor maintenance standards.   

Alaska oil exploration to begin
By Warren Bull
BBC News

The area holds huge reserves in oil and gas The US government says it will offer exploration rights for oil and gas in a north-western region of Alaska.

The federal Minerals Management Service said it would take bids next month for concessions in the Chukchi Sea, which separates Alaska from Siberia.

But environmental groups fear the effects on wildlife in the region, including the polar bear population.

There have been no lease sales for over 15 years and the groups fear further exploration could damage marine life.

Rich reserves

Energy exploration in Alaska has always been a tough choice between preserving one of the planet's last great areas of pristine wilderness and the potential for huge profits to be made from its development.

The American sectors of the Chukchi Sea are believed to hold 15bn barrels of recoverable oil and over two trillion cubic metres of natural gas.

But the authorities had not held a lease sale in the sea since 1991, both due to the difficulties and cost involved in extraction from the Arctic continental shelf and concerns over the environment.

There are fears for the polar bear population

The Minerals Management Service says exploration will not be allowed to take place any closer than 80km (50 miles) from the shoreline, therefore striking a balance between development and protection of coastal resources.

But ecologists say any further exploration could have a major impact on marine life, with polar bears one of the hardest-hit species.

The Chukchi Sea is home to one of two populations of polar bears in the US, and their numbers have already been depleted by loss of habitat due to global warming.

Many protestors are angry at the timing of the announcement, which comes days before the US Fish and Wildlife Service decides whether to list the polar bear as a threatened species.
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Offline Reno

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Re: Bush Aims to Relax Endangered Species Rules
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2008, 21:55 »
The way it is now the government spends millions of dollars over years to research animals and the possible side effects of humans on their habitats. When a multi million dollar highway needs to be built and it goes through a countryside that is home to an endangered species of some turtle, the government says, "hey lets wait several more years and spend some more of the taxpayers money to see if this will have any possible effect." On one hand your doing research on an animal that has never been researched thoroughly, on the other hand your blowing a ton of the people's money and postponing important projects at the cost of time and productivity to do it.

There is a problem, but the answer is political suicide. The problem is that too many resources are being reallocated inefficiently to bureaucracy in order to start and conduct the necessary research. I don't agree that oversight should be given directly to the government agencies who are in charge of the projects in question. I think there should be some sort of third party oversight to prevent abuses. But, since he's on his way out though, he's one of the perfect people to at least start discussion upon a solution.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2008, 22:03 by Reno »

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