A few days ago, I caught a glimpse of a bald eagle near my home, with its flash of white tail drawing my attention and giving me time to see its beautiful white head leading its powerful body through the sky. A few months ago, down by the lakeshore, I saw five bald eagles in one day. That’s how it used to be all across the United States.
If Barack Obama had been President when the Endangered Species Act was passed, however, I might never have had the chance to see a single bald eagle in all my life.
Barack Obama gained the presidency thanks to the hard work of environmental activists who believed Obama’s promises that he would craft environmental policy based on science, not politics. Now, Obama is crafting environmental policy that serves his effort to gain re-election, rather than matching scientific data.
The Obama White House is pushing a drastic reduction of the power of the Endangered Species Act. President Obama claims that the Endangered Species Act doesn’t have to go into effect even when a species is completely wiped out across its historic range. The new Obama policy would only provide protection to bald eagles, for example, if the eagles were on the extreme verge of extinction, hanging on only in tiny portions of Alaska.
Will bald eagles be opened up as targets for hunting? Probably not, but wolves are being hunted, and only because they are less charismatic than bald eagles, not because their ecological status as a species is more stable. Obama’s application of the Endangered Species Act has been political, not scientific.
A huge coalition of environmental organizations are protesting Barack Obama’s efforts to undermine protection of endangered species. Among them are the Center for Biological Diversity, the Endangered Species Coalition, EarthJustice, Oceana, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, the Conservation Law Foundation, the Environmental Defense Center, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Earth, the John Muir Project… you get the picture.
In 2012, Barack Obama is not a good choice for citizens who care more about the environment than they do about partisan victories.