Just when I thought I found something I could praise the Obama Administration for, I turn around and see that they’ve broken the promise of change yet again. Soon after I got done writing an article praising the Barack Obama for leading reform over the administration of the Endangered Species Act, to bring it back into accord with the law, as exemplified by the rapid processing of status for the Pacific smelt, when I found out about what the Obama Administration is doing to sea turtles.
The Center for Biological Diversity is being forced to file a lawsuit to get the Obama Administration to provide a decision about whether to protect loggerhead and leatherback turtles under the Endangered Species Act. It seems that Obama has pulled a Bush on these species of sea turtles.
The National Marine Fisheries Service was required by law to deliver a decision at the beginning of this month about whether the two species of turtles merit listing under the Endangered Species Act. However, the deadline came and went with no decision.
I understand that the petition was submitted under George W. Bush, and that the Obama Administration has inherited some problems in the National Marine Fisheries Service created by the Bush Administration. However, it’s been five months since Barack Obama was elected President, and we were told that his transition team was going straight to work in November. The NMFS has had plenty of time to review the available scientific information about leatherback and loggerhead turtles, and President Obama has had plenty of time to gain control of the NMFS.
We call Barack Obama President Obama for a reason. It’s supposed to be that the buck stops with him – no excuses. It’s time to stop evaluating Barack Obama according to the promises he makes in his speeches, and start evaluating him according to his actual deeds. Barack Obama has failed his duties as President when it comes to dealing with the petition for the sea turtles.
Competence matters. If Barack Obama isn’t ready to use the substantial resources at his disposal to administer the federal government in accordance with the law, then he ought to resign, and make way for someone who is prepared.