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A few weeks before he left office, President George W. Bush told federal officials that, in effect, they did not have to bother getting the advice of wildlife experts before taking actions that might harm plants or animals protected by the Endangered Species Act.
On Tuesday, President Obama said that, in effect, they did.
...Until the review is complete, Mr. Obama’s memorandum says, agencies must return to the former practice of seeking and acting on scientific advice.
In brief remarks, the president said he had signed the memorandum to “help restore the scientific process to its rightful place” in the working of the Endangered Species Act.
“We should be looking for ways to improve it, not weaken it,” Mr. Obama said of the act, according to a pool report. The president said it was “false” to say people must choose between economic growth and environmental protection.