Serious discussions in the US for Trump’s amendment for the Endangered Species Act
The administration of US President Donald Trump has issued a highly controversial amendment to the Endangered Species Act, which is used to protect the country’s most endangered plants and animals.
The Endangered Species Act, signed by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1973, protects more than 1,600 species of plants and animals today, including crediting the rescue of the California condor, the Florida manat, Whale and the Grizzly Bear.
Driu Caputo, head of environmental law firm Earthjustice, described the changes as “an attempt to destroy the protection of endangered or threatened species”.
The Trump administration’s new directives amended the law to allow information on the economic impact of adding a species to the list of protected species.
Until now, decisions regarding wildlife management can only be based on science and “not concerned with the potential financial or other impact” of them.
The government has also made changes that critics say allow threats such as climate change to be ignored.
The Trump government’s revisions, which will take effect in 30 days, will change the law, but broader, backed by Republican amendments that have failed to pass through Congress.
“The completed reviews are exactly in line with the president’s mandate to lighten the regulatory burden on the American people without sacrificing our species protection and recovery goals,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
The changes were announced by the US Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the US Department of Commerce’s National Maritime Fisheries Service (NMFS).
The change in US environmental regulations comes at a time when UN scientists are warning that about one million plant and animal species face an immediate threat of extinction worldwide due to human activity.
Over 2,000 species are on the list of endangered or threatened species in the US.
The announcement sparked outrage by environmental activists and Democratic lawmakers. Chuck Sumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, called the change “a slap in the face for those struggling to cope with the climate crisis”.
“Once again, the Trump administration puts the profits of the big oil companies above the health and safety of our planet and future generations,” Sumer underlined.