President Bush exempted the Navy from an environmental law so it can continue using sonar in its anti-submarine warfare training off the California coast -- a practice critics say is harmful to whales and other marine mammals.
The White House announced Wednesday that Bush had signed the exemption Tuesday while traveling in the Middle East. (snip)
"The president's action is an attack on the rule of law," said Joel Reynolds, director of the Marine Mammal Protection Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "By exempting the Navy from basic safeguards under both federal and state law, the president is flouting the will of Congress, the decision of the California Coastal Commission and a ruling by the federal court."
This is not some little thing...sonar used so close to their migration paths disorients the whales (and other marine life) and causes them to beach themselves. A study in 2000 found that incidences of bleeding in the ear and around the brain of marine life from mid-frequency sonars as the Navy uses.