AWI Welcomes New Bills to Repeal Recent Devastating ESA Regulations

Photo from Flickr by Trevor Dennis

The bills would undo Trump administration’s assault on the Endangered Species Act

Washington, DC—The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) welcomes bills – introduced today by Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) – to repeal the devastating regulatory changes to the Endangered Species Act that were finalized last month by the Trump administration. The House bill, entitled the “Protect America’s Wildlife and Fish in Need of Conservation Act of 2019” or the “PAW and FIN Conservation Act of 2019” will receive a hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday, September 24.

“Representatives Grijalva, Beyer, and Dingell and Senator Udall’s legislation is a timely response to the administration’s attempt to drastically undermine this crucial conservation law,” said Cathy Liss, president of the Animal Welfare Institute. “The Trump administration’s regulatory changes are designed to make it easier for industry to steamroll past Endangered Species Act protections afforded to imperiled species and their habitats. It’s wildlife on the brink of extinction – not industry – that needs help, and this bill sets those priorities straight.”

The regulations curtail protections afforded to threatened species, allow economic considerations to be weighed when deciding whether to list a species (despite the ESA prohibition on such considerations), significantly weaken the process for designating protected habitat, and dismantle the interagency consultation process – effectively silencing the voices of experts best suited to determine how federal projects impact imperiled species. These regulations were finalized just months after a U.N. report warned of “unprecedented” and “accelerating” global mass extinctions caused by human activity.

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Photo from Flickr by Trevor Dennis