critical habitat, DOI, Endangered species act, environment, FWS, Koch Brothers, logging, mining, oil and gas, Oil and gas coup, Oil drilling, petroleum industry, Threatened plants and animals, Trump, Zinke
Dr. Brian Stacy, NOAA veterinarian, prepares to clean an oiled (from BP oil spill) critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley turtle. (Photo Credit: NOAA and Georgia Department of Natural Resources)
Endangered Hawaiian monk seal UFWS
“Trump Administration Wants to Scrap Some Species Protection
July 19, 2018 6:47 PM, VOA News
The Trump administration wants to scrap automatic federal protection for threatened plants and animals, a move that would anger environmentalists but please industry.
A proposal unveiled Thursday would no longer grant threatened species the same instant protection given to endangered species. It would also limit what can be declared a critical habitat for such plants and animals.
Officials with the Interior Department and Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday that they wanted to streamline regulations. They said current rules under the Endangered Species Act were inconsistent and confusing.
Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the new rules would still be very protective of endangered animals.
“At the same time, we hope that they ameliorate some of the unnecessary burden, conflict and uncertainty that is within our current regulatory structure,” he told reporters.
But conservationists called the changes a “wrecking ball” and a gift to big businesses.
“They could decide that building in a species habitat or logging in trees where birds nest doesn’t constitute harm,” the Center for Biological Diversity’s Noah Greenwald said.
Industries such as logging, mining and oil drilling have long complained that the Endangered Special Act has stopped them from gaining access to new sources of energy and has stifled economic development.”