In its closing months, the Bush administration is pulling out all the stops in its eight-year effort to undermine the Endangered Species Act. In mid-August, the administration proposed two dangerous regulatory changes. One would free the government from considering the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on polar bears and other imperiled wildlife. The other would eliminate some expert scientific reviews of federal projects that could harm endangered species.
Under the law, such proposed rules changes must be opened for public comment before they take effect. The idea, at least the way we have always understood it, is for the government to listen to what citizens are saying before making important policy changes.