Trump Moves to Gut Endangered Species Act

August 16, 2019

Today’s version of the Republican Party is as hostile to biodiversity as it is to any other kind of diversity.

Ars Technica:

After two years of review and revision, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced a set of changes to the regulations that spell out how it will implement parts of the Endangered Species Act. The changes focus on how officials should decide whether to list a species as endangered or threatened, what kind of protections threatened species should receive, and how officials will decide which areas of habitat to protect.
In practice, the changes may weaken the Endangered Species Act’s protections.
Depending on how this and future administrations interpret the wording of the regulation, these changes could make it easier to remove species from the endangered and threatened species lists. The wording may also give officials tacit permission to dismiss climate change as an irrelevant threat to species’ survival and to consider economic factors when they’re deciding whether to protect a species.
There were many signs this was coming. The Trump administration proposed some of the revisions, including removing the phrase “without reference to economic impact,” last July. And overall, this batch of regulatory changes fits into the administration’s broader theme of eliminating regulation and rolling back environmental protections.

The newly announced changes in how the Endangered Species Act is implemented come on the heels of two years of vigorous but ineffective efforts by Congressional Republicans to overhaul the ESA itself. Since 2016, about two dozen bills seeking to weaken the ESA have either been introduced in Congress or proposed by the Trump administration. These have included several bills targeting protections for individual species, which conflict with various industries’ interest in development.
Despite decades of opposition to the Endangered Species Act, especially among ranchers and the oil and logging industries, none of the recent string of bills made it to the Senate. Even in a then-Republican-controlled Congress, attempts to seriously overhaul the ESA and its enforcement haven’t gotten much traction.

6 Responses to “Trump Moves to Gut Endangered Species Act”

  1. Manny Good Says:

    “In practice, the changes may weaken the Endangered Species Act’s protections.” Is this not an opinion? There is nothing in the new regulations which weakens the act or endangers anything. It is simply a change in how the act is applied.

    The changes clarify how a species is put on the endangered list, put on the threatened list, and how they are removed from both. There is nothing in the new regulations which prevents public input on either action. Public input was taken on the changes so the public has already had its say.

    There is nothing to prevent climate change from being considered. What the regulatory change does require is actual evidence on the subject and a lot less opinion.

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    We Are The Asteroid is on of the best of your videos, and certainly the best-named.

    The biosphere can be likened to a giant trampoline in which the threads of the fabric represent all the species of living things on the planet. As human over exploitation and anthropogenic climate change add up to a bigger “asteroid” bouncing on the trampoline, more and more of these threads are being broken. The fabric is ultimately going to weaken to the point of tearing and destroying even more life forms—-it will never “heal” back to its original configuration (and certainly will have much reduced numbers of humans woven in no matter what it looks like).

    The Repugnants and the unbelievable disaster that is Trump don’t care, of course—-most of them won’t be around when the SHTF—–but in the meantime, they WILL worry about what is important—-the 1% getting richer at the expense of the 99% and the planet. I swear, we really don’t deserve to survive.

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    My first reaction to the headline was “What? He hasn’t already done that?”

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