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Center Races to File Suit Challenging Bush's Gutting of Endangered Species Act

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Just hours ago, Bush announced his long-threatened 11th-hour regulations gutting the Endangered Species Act. In what might be the fastest lawsuit filing in history, the Center for Biological Diversity filed suit within minutes in San Francisco federal court to strike down the regulations. The Center and its partners -- Defenders of Wildlife and Greenpeace -- are asking the court to protect endangered plants and animals by completely nullifying Bush's policies as quickly as possible.

As an early Christmas gift to industry, Bush's policies exempted greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, oil and gas drilling, and other harmful developments from the Endangered Species Act. Having just listed the polar bear and two Florida corals as endangered species due to global warming in response to Center lawsuits, the Bush administration is now trying to handcuff federal regulators and the law by preventing actions needed to save these and other endangered species.

And if that weren't bad enough, Bush also exempted tens of thousands of logging, mining, road building and development projects from Endangered Species Act review. Rather than have U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists independently review these actions, the Bush policy allows the agencies proposing the logging and mining to do the review themselves. In its typical pattern of denial and abuse, the Bush administration ignored the fact that this policy has already been tried and failed. In timber sales exempted from scientific review between 2004 and 2005, a full 68 percent violated the Endangered Species Act, harming spotted owls, salmon, and other species.

I will keep you posted as this fast-paced suit develops in the courts. Unfortunately, there are more bad regulations affecting clean air, clean water and our oceans coming down the pipe. The Center will remain vigilant in challenging these last ditch attempts by the lame-duck administration to undermine our bedrock environmental law. We'll keep fighting until the Bush nightmare is over.


Kieran Suckling

Executive Director

Center for Biological Diversity


                                               Look at the flowers

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