On March 11th Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law, a bill giving Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar the authority to immediately rescind Bush administration regulations that eliminate essential protections for the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. However, under the bill, if Salazar doesn’t withdraw the Bush regulations within 60 days of its passage into law, the regulations stay in effect and the polar bear is deprived of the legal protections it needs to survive.
Time is running out! If we don't take action before this countdown hits zero, it will be too late:
Secretary Salazar must act immediately, or we'll lose this precious opportunity to instantly remedy one of Bush's worst environmental attacks. Please sign the petition to Salazar and demand that he immediately rescind the Bush regulations harming the polar bear.
11th-hour attack by Bush Admin
Just before leaving office, the Bush administration dealt a parting blow to endangered species across the nation, issuing two regulations intended to (1) remove the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an independent, scientific watchdog over potentially species-harming federal projects like timber sales, mines, and dams; (2) exempt all greenhouse gas-emitting projects, including coal-fired power plants and federal fuel efficiency standards, from Endangered Species Act review; and (3) specifically ban federal agencies from protecting the imperiled polar bear from greenhouse gas emissions.
These policies eviscerate the central Endangered Species Act process - Fish and Wildlife Service oversight - that has protected endangered species for 35 years. They also exclude the greatest future threat to endangered species - global warming - from consideration under the Act. The policies are the subject of active lawsuits by Greenpeace, the Center for Biological Diversity, various other environmental groups, and nine states.
Obama uses memorandum, legislation to address problem
Thankfully, the Obama administration and Congress have taken the first steps towards rescinding the damaging Bush regulations. On March 3, 2009, President Barack Obama sent out a presidential memorandum ordering agencies to ignore the regulation blocking Fish and Wildlife Service project oversight. Then, on March 11, Obama signed into law an omnibus appropriations bill giving Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar 60 days to rescind the Bush rules with the stroke of a pen and restore our nation's most critical and successful wildlife protection law to its former glory.
Secretary Salazar must act by May 9, 2009, or the regulations will stay in place. And with industry groups pulling out all the stops urging Secretary Salazar to let the Bush regulations stand, it's far from guaranteed they'll be rescinded. That's why it is so urgent to take action today - please let Secretary Salazar know that you want the Bush extinction regulations rescinded immediately.
Secretary Salazar needs to hear from you today -- please take action now!