Interior Department

Another environmental lawyer joins the administration

Michael J. Bean, longtime head of Environmental Defense Fund’s wildlife program and author of the classic treatise The Evolution of National Wildlife Law, has been named counselor to Tom Strickland, Assistant Secretary of Interior for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Bean will provide advice on endangered species and other wildlife policy issues. This appointment is very …


Executive Branch Agreement on Mountaintop Removal: A Positive Step, but Only a Step

Cross-posted with permission from CPRBlog. Over the past few months, the Obama Administration has sent mixed signals on mountaintop mining, the practice of blowing the tops off mountains containing coal and piling the left-over rubble in valleys and streambeds. Early on, things seemed to be going well for the environment. First, EPA objected to the …


Pika next test for the ESA?

If you think the polar bear wrangling has been fun, stay tuned. FWS has announced that it will review the status of the American pika to determine if listing is warranted (hat tip: EarthJustice). The pika, also known as the “rock rabbit,” is a cute little creature found in the mountains of the western U.S. …


Drill baby drill?

Remember last year when gas was at $4 a gallon, and candidates were falling all over themselves to explain how they would bring that price down? Two longstanding moratoria against oil and gas development in federal waters fell to that political pressure. In July, George W. Bush lifted an executive ban, initially issued by his …


More accusations of politics trumping science and law at Interior

The Washington Post reports that officials at the Department of Interior ignored “key scientific findings” and the views of National Park Service officials “when they limited water flows in the Grand Canyon to optimize generation of electric power there, risking damage to the ecology of the spectacular national landmark.”  The Post story, written by Juliet …