Lefties Threaten to Sue Trump Administration Over Needed, Modernized Changes to Endangered Species Act; Prevents Abuse by Environmental Groups

  • On Monday, the Trump administration announced new rules that would change the Endangered Species Act by allowing “economic factors to be considered when listing a species while barring analysis of how climate change impacts plant and animal life,” which led to Democrats and environmental groups vowing to sue the administration.
  • The changes will end “the practice of giving threatened species — those at risk of becoming extinct in the near future — the same protections as endangered ones. The regulation allows for a species-specific plan rather than the blanket protections the law currently provides.”
  • Additionally, the “new regulation also limits protections for threatened species as well as the review process used before projects are approved on their habitat.”
  • In a call with reporters, Democratic Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said: “I know this sounds like the plan of a cartoon villain and not the president of the United States, but that’s what we’re dealing with today.”
  • Healey and Democratic California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that several more states are likely to join the lawsuit that will sue the federal government over the changes.
  • A number of environmental groups have already expressed their intent to sue the Trump administration.
  • Becerra claims the new policies are unlawful since he said “the power to change the Endangered Species Act lies squarely with Congress, not the administration, and violates the Administrative Procedure Act by not following the review process for creating new regulations.”
  • Becerra said: “This administration is trying to change the law by breaking the law and that’s not going to stand.”
  • Democratic Sen. Tom Udall said: “For more than 40 years, the ESA has been a pillar of environmental protection in this nation. Its success — and its support among the American people — are undeniable. But this administration’s determination to dismantle bedrock environmental laws, turn a blind eye to science, and roll over for special interests apparently knows no bounds.”
  • However, the Interior Department said the changes are “designed to increase transparency and effectiveness and bring the administration of the Act into the 21st century.”
  • Industry groups like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association support the changes and called them “long-awaited regulatory relief.”
  • The American Petroleum Institute said the change in policy would lead to “the reduction of duplicative and unnecessary regulations that ultimately bog down conservation efforts.”
  • Republican Sen. James Inhofe said: “We’ve seen before how the act can be abused by environmental activist agendas, but by increasing transparency and ending the practice of one-size-fits-all reactions, we can end their sue and settle tactics while promoting responsible conservation without heavy-handed government intervention.”

Reference Links

  • The Hill: Democrats, environmentalists blast Trump rollback of endangered species protections READ
  • USA TODAY: Trump administration overhauls Endangered Species Act as critics fear animal extinction READ
  • BBC: Environmentalists warn Trump ‘weakening’ endangered species protections READ
  • Politico: Trump administration eases endangered species rules READ

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