Today the Obama administration’s Department of Interior announced that it would keep a Bush administration rule forbidding government scientists from considering global warming when protecting polar bears pursuant to the Endangered Species Act.
When the Bush Interior Department announced their rule, they were roundly criticized by the enviro-left. It will be interesting to see how they react to the Obama administration taking the same position.
More interesting is how the Obama EPA justified their decision. McClatchy reports:
On Friday, the Interior Department reluctantly agreed, saying that it’s scientifically impossible to use the Endangered Species Act to regulate greenhouse gases, which are contributing to the warming of the earth and the resulting melting of bears’ habitat in Alaska. The emissions from a cement plant in Georgia, for example, can’t be tied directly to the precipitous decline in polar ice, Salazar said.
But neither can the emissions from just one car tailpipe be tied directly to global warming. So by that same logic, the EPA has no business regulating carbon emissions pursuant to the Clean Air Act. If it is “scientifically impossible to use the Endangered Species Act to regulate greenhouse gases” than it is also scientifically impossible to use the CAA to regulate greenhouse gasses.
After all, The ESA is a far more powerful law than the CAA, especially if your aim is to shut down carbon emissions. Section 7 of the ESA requires all federal agencies to consult with either the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) for “any action authorized, funded, or carried out.”
In other words, every action funded by the federal government has the potential to be shut down by the ESA. All that billions of infrastructure funding in Obama’s $787 stimulus bill? It all would increase carbon emissions, so the ESA could kill it all.
No wonder Obama threw the polar bears under the bus.