Bush to relax protected species rules

August 11, 2008 1:55:21 PM PDT
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne is defending proposed changes to the endangered species law, saying they will ensure the statute is not used as a "back door" to regulate the gases blamed for global warming.

Kempthorne said Monday the proposal would allow federal agencies to move forward with some projects without consulting government scientists and would implement the 1973 law "more efficiently and avoid misusing it to regulate global climate change."

The comments came during a news conference in response to an AP story published earlier Monday.