WASHINGTON, DC – Leaders in the House and Senate today introduced legislation that would rescind the Trump administration’s regulations gutting the Endangered Species Act. Led by Representatives Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and by Senator Udall, the Protect America’s Wildlife and Fish in Need of Protection Act (PAW and FIN Act) comes after resounding public outcry over the weakening of the law, as the planet faces an unprecedented extinction crisis.
Following is a statement from Nora Apter, Deputy Director of Federal Affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“This bill would restore protections to our most imperiled wildlife, by revoking the Trump administration’s reckless regulations to eviscerate the Endangered Species Act. Now is not the time to ignore science and gamble with our future as our ecosystems are in peril. The vast majority of Americans agree that the Endangered Species Act must remain intact as the first line of defense for our most vulnerable species. We applaud these congressional champions for their leadership in protecting this cornerstone environmental law.”
The Endangered Species Act is a federal law that protects endangered and threatened species. In August, the United States Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce approved new regulations that gravely weaken the Endangered Species Act. The changes reduce protections given to threatened species, allow more federal actions to move forward without fully considering all impacts on listed species, and exempt climate change from key parts of the law.
Late last year, a report revealed an astonishing 60% decline in the populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians around the world in just over 40 years. Earlier this year, a United Nations reportwarned one million species are in threat of extinction due to human activity. In spite of these alarming numbers and polls demonstrating broad support for the Endangered Species Act, regulations that aim to weaken species protections.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC