Biodiversity & Species

Analyzing the revisions to the ESA regulations (Part V)

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 …

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Analyzing the revised ESA regulations (Part IV)

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 …

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Analyzing the revised ESA regulations (Part III)

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 …

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Analyzing the revised ESA regulations (Part II)

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 …

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Analyzing the revised ESA regulations (Intro)

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 …

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Why is Newsom vetoing SB 1?

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 …

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Green Growth That Works

New book explores natural capital policy and finance mechanisms from around the world

Since the Industrial Revolution, growth in human numbers and economic activity has dramatically transformed our planet. Rapid economic development has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and raised the standard of living and life expectancies of many more, but these forms of growth have also deeply eroded the natural capital embodied in …

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Is the Amazon Burning?

The current panic may not be justified, although long-term worries are

The environmental community is presently up in arms about fires in Brazil’s Amazon. The number of fires have dramatically increased over this time last year. A Greenpeace worker said, “This is not just a forest that is burning. This is almost a cemetery. Because all you can see is death.” France’s president Emmanuel Macron tweeted, …

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Trump Administration Attempts to Eviscerate the Endangered Species Act

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 …

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The Flight of the Bumblebee

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 …

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