Bush relaxes protections for endangered species - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Bush relaxes protections for endangered species

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration is reducing protections for endangered animals and plants.

  Just six weeks before Democratic President-elect Barack Obama takes office, the current Republican administration is changing endangered species regulations.

  Some mandatory, independent reviews that government scientists have performed for 35 years are being eliminated.

  The scientists' advice from such reviews can delay or block dams, highways and other projects.

  The new rules will take effect in about 30 days.

  The rules also prohibit federal agencies from evaluating the effect on endangered species and the places they live from a project's contribution to increased global warming.

  Obama has promised to reverse the new rules.

  Congress also could overturn them.

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