More ruminations on the consultation regulations
Updating yesterday's ESA blawg posting, I note that there is likely to be a dispute over how the Congressional Review Act applies to the ESA Section 7 consultation regulations, if they are adopted. Major rules, meaning $100 million in annual economic impact, cannot take effect until 60 days after Federal Register publication. 5 U.S.C. §804(2). That means that the new regulations would not become effective until the next Congress (and President Obama). In the current OIRA report, however, the ESA Section 7 consultations rules are characterized as MINOR, thus suggesting that the Bush Administration believes itself to have a few more days (weeks?) in which it can control its own destiny (still subject, of course, to massive amounts of litigation, and DOJ policy changes).
For more on the CRA, visit a recent Politico article or the Congressional Research Service report posted by Senator Corzine. And one more note: the Hawaii Star-Bulletin contained an editorial today on this issue, and included a quote by White House Spokesperson Dana Perino, saying the Endangered Species Act "is a tangled web that doesn't actually help support any species, including our own."
Image of Dana Perino from wikipedia.