Concern Mounts Over Plan By Trump Administration To Weaken Laws Protecting Endangered Species

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President Donald Trump’s administration has finalized rollbacks to key provisions of the Endangered Species Act. The changes include removing a rule that automatically conveys the same protection to threatened species and endangered species, and allowing information on economic impact to be gathered when making determinations on how wildlife is listed.

In a statement characterizing the amendments as “improvements,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on Monday said, “The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal — recovery of our rarest species.” 

However many expressed outrage, saying the rollbacks could push some species toward oblivion. Presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted: “For decades, the Endangered Species Act has protected our most vulnerable wildlife from extinction. Now, President Trump wants to throw it all away. At a time when climate change is pushing our planet to the brink, we should strengthen protections — not weaken them.”