Endangered Species Act
There’s a new GOP Platform, same as the old one.
It appears that the GOP won’t have a new platform this year. Instead, they’re going to stick with their 2016 platform. You could see that as steadfastness or a lack of new ideas. In the environmental arena, 2016 is still where the GOP is stuck today, celebrating fossil fuels and rejecting climate action. Here are …CONTINUE READING
Shaky legal authority, poor analysis, dubious benefits. What else is new?
In an Executive Order issued last Thursday, Trump told agencies to use emergency waivers to avoid environmental safeguards. The order is legally shaky and unlikely to accomplish much. Still, it provided a nice photo op. Maybe he should have signed it in front of a church. I’ll talk later about the specifics, but first I’d …CONTINUE READING
Overall, the revised regulations increase agency discretion, particularly to avoid consideration of climate change
This is the fifth post in a series. The first post is available here. The second post is available here. The third post is available here. The fourth post is available here. Overall, the biggest takeaways from the proposed regulations are that (a) they are intended to substantially increase the discretion the agencies have in …CONTINUE READING
The most important revisions to the regulations affect how federal agencies avoid harm to endangered species under Section 7 of the ESA
This is the fourth post in a series. The first post is available here. The second post is available here. The third post is available here. The final regulations I am discussing in this post are available here. These are by far the most significant, but also the most complicated changes to the regulations. Section …CONTINUE READING
Regulations would make it easier for agency to avoid protections for threatened species
This is the third post in a series. For the first post, see here. For the second, post, see here. The regulations I am analyzing in this post are available here. Section 9 of the ESA prohibits any person from “taking” a listed species – take is defined in the statute rather broadly, to include …CONTINUE READING
Regulations would make it harder to protect species and habitat because of climate change
This is the second in a series of posts. For the first post, see here. The regulations I am analyzing in this post are available here. The ESA has a system by which it determines what species warrant protection under the Act, and therefore should be listed as either endangered or threatened. In theory at …CONTINUE READING
Trump Administration revisions would make significant changes to how Act operates
The Trump Administration in August finalized some significant revisions to the regulations implementing the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Those revisions got a fair amount of press coverage, much of it fairly negative, even apocalyptic in tone. See this NY Times editorial “The Species Act, Endangered”. I’ve (belatedly) tried to do a thorough review of …CONTINUE READING
Comparing the Governor’s statements with the text of the bill
The California legislature recently passed SB 1, which would translate into state law a range of federal environmental and worker safety standards that were in place before the inauguration of President Trump to protect against federal roll backs in those areas. However, Governor Newsom has indicated he will veto SB 1, on the grounds that …CONTINUE READING
Rather Than “Improve” ESA, Newly-Adopted Regulations Dramatically Erode Its Historic Protections
The Endangered Species Act, enacted in 1973, has for most of its history been the most controversial and politically-charged of all the foundational environmental laws adopted by Congress in the 1970’s. But despite its contentious history, opponents of the ESA have been unsuccessful in their efforts to weaken the law, either through significant Congressional amendments …CONTINUE READING
The Trump Administration loses an environmental case. Again.
Last Friday, the Fourth Circuit halted efforts to build a natural gas pipeline because the Administration had done such a lousy job of showing its compliance with the Endangered Species Act. This was one of the Administration’s many losses in court. The case involved a perfect example of “arbitrary and capricious” decision making, to use …CONTINUE READING