October 23, 2008

Reaction to proposed ESA rule changes

By Reaction to proposed ESA rule changes

This brief editorial from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is representative of the reception that the Service's proposed rule changes have encountered.  Basically, the Post-Intelligencer criticizes the Service's view that greenhouse gas emissions from any given project are not regulable as "takes" under the ESA because the causal connection between the emissions and any discrete harm to species is wholly speculative.  That seems to be an eminently reasonable proposition.  The Post-Intelligencer's criticism of that analysis belies not so much superior scientific acumen as it does a rather blunt attempt to achieve certain policy ends through any means necessary.  But the wiser and more prudent course is as the Service has done:  to decline to use the ESA as an ill-fitted tool for addressing climate change problems.

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