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Big Oil's Interior strikes again

This week, the Trump administration announced it was unilaterally weakening the Endangered Species Act — a move that will make it more difficult to protect endangered species.

Consider the role of climate change in protecting wildlife. The administration's new rules forbid it.

But they're now allowing regulators to calculate how much profit corporations would lose if they're not allowed to mine, drill or dynamite animals into extinction.

And, in a disgraceful example of Trumpian doublespeak, they're calling these changes "improvements." Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, the former high-priced oil lobbyist with more ethical conflicts than he can remember (literally — he carried a card in his pocket to remind himself), patted himself on the back for making the ESA "more efficient."

The ESA has had a 99% success rate since its inception in 1973 – it's one of the most effective conservation laws on the books. Tying the department's hands will crater that rate.

That's not efficiency. At best, we'd call that incompetence. Unfortunately, it's more accurate to call it "malice" or "greed."

Whatever we call it, it's tragic.

Fortunately, we're fighting back. Several states have already filed suit to stop the changes. Congress will explore ways to strengthen the law and protect it from the administration's attacks.

Together, our movement is standing strong to defend our natural resources and threatened species from Trump, Bernhardt, and the corporate polluters they answer to.

Ron

Posted on August 18, 2019.

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Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley at a health care rallyRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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