November 16, 2003
Axis of Evil Eel
In their latest salvo in the war on the environment, the Administration has steered a defense spending bill through Congress that contains various provisions which undermine the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
The legislation allows Bush appointees to undermine “habitat protection” for endangered species, freeing up more land for “Friends of W” to log, mine and drill.
The bill eliminates habitat protection on all lands “owned or controlled” by the military. (The Defense Department controls 25 million acres of land, some of it home to the nation’s most endangered species.)
The act also contains provisions for the “harassment” of marine mammals by way of increased oil and gas exploration and high intensity sonar testing.
Finally, the law provides the Defense Department with an exemption from any MMPA regulation for two years, with the option for an unlimited number of renewals. In the name of national security, the Department can take any action it wishes–related to defense purposes, or not–without review by wildlife agencies, states, Congress, or the public.
(By the way, did we mention the bill also lifts the ban on research and design of a new generation of “low yield” nuclear weapons?)