A little legalese goes a long way. The Joe Biden administration taking a single sentence from the Trump-era definition of “habitat” allows the federal government to broadly protect endangered species in every habitat where they could potentially live.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service next to the National Marine Fisheries Services announced on Thursday that they amend a sentence in the Endangered Species Act of 1973 that was amended under former President Donald Trump to limit the definition of “habitat” to places that could “conserve” endangered species.
The original bill defined “habitat” as anywhere the animal might reside, allowing regulators to protect anywhere an endangered species could potentially be moved.
Chief of Division for Conservation at the FWS Bridget Fahey told The New York Times the Trump-era definition was extremely restrictive, because there is so little habitat left for endangered species. Assistant secretary at the agency Shannon Estonez said in a press release that the change “will bring implementation of the law back in line with its original purpose.”
The critical habitat designation does not cover: privately owned land unless real estate owners receive federal funding or otherwise require federal permits to use their land, according to the FWS.
Trump changed habitat definition in December 2020. That government had a penchant for ignoring the plight of endangered animals in favor of private industry, in particular oil drillers†
Of course, some Trump-era politicians weren’t happy with the breaking news Modify. Climate change denier and Steve Milloy, member of Trump’s transition team tweeted the change will make it “more difficult to drill for oil and gas”.
It’s a game against Biden, who is being hammered for gas prices in the run-up to the November midterms, despite the fact that the federal government has? little to no control above the price at the pump. Still, there can be positives to less drilling in general. A recent study shows that we should cutting drastically the amount of oil the world is drilling if we want to avoid the serious consequences of rising temperatures. US should restrict far more drilling than… it already has to meet those forecasts.
While outside agencies praised the move, some were still critical of the Biden admin’s lethargic pace in undoing the long list of Trump-era deregulations† Stephanie Kurose, senior policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a pronunciation that it is “disappointing” that Biden has not moved faster with changes to the Endangered Species Act. Biden had previously pledged to repeal many rollbacks of environmental regulations Trump instituted during his tenure. In April, the White House restored a law that requires agencies to analyze the environmental impact of construction projects.
Biden’s team has made some promises, but progress has been slow and “as the extinction crisis accelerates, we need to take bold, transformative action before it’s too late,” Kurose said.