Significant changes are underway to gut the Endangered Species Act, putting species like the polar bear and bald eagle, plus others on the d-list. The Trump administration on August 12th rolled out some of the broadest changes in decades allowing the government that may speed up versus slowing down extinction rates.
The Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act is credited with helping scores of animals and plants from extinction since President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1973. This legislation currently protects more than 1,600 species in the United States and its territories.
Changes to the Act
The changes allow economic cost to be taken into account as the federal government weighs protecting a struggling species. However, Congress has stipulated that economic costs may not be a factor in deciding whether or not to protect an animal. That prohibition is meant to ensure that an industry like the logging industry would take precedence over protecting forest-dwelling animal on economic grounds.
Another revision would end blanket protections for species newly listed as threatened. There would also be a revision that conservation groups say could block officials from considering the impact on wildlife from climate change, a major and growing threat to many species.
The regulations ”take a wrecking ball to one of our oldest and most effective environmental laws, the Endangered Species Act,” Sen. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, said in a statement. “As we have seen time and time again, no environmental protection – no matter how effective or popular – is safe from this administration.”
Almost a dozen attorney generals have joined conservation groups in protesting an early draft of the changes, saying they put more wildlife at greater risk of extinction.
Conservationists adamant about taking legal action
“This effort to gut protections for endangered and threatened species has the same two features of most of Trump’s administration actions: “It’s a gift to industry, and it’s illegal. We’ll see the Trump administration in court about it,” said Drew Caputo, a vice president of litigation for the conservation advocacy group Earthjustice.
So our endangered just became more endangered. This time, once again by the hands of humans, let alone giving free reign to trophy hunters.
Your thoughts, readers?
Primary Source: MarketWatch