News of the week
The Biden administration may be trying to weaken the Endangered Species Act
I don’t believe that anyone was expecting an environmentally oriented president when he or she voted for Joe Biden in 2020. For his work as a Senator, environmental organizations had given him moderately high ratings, yet looking at bills he has sponsored in the Senate over the decades, there is nothing to indicate that the environment was a priority for Joe Biden.
My expectation, as well as for many others, was that Biden’s presidency would be a turn away from the Trump administration’s disregard for the environment. And in many ways, I’ve been thankful for the reversals that Joe Biden has made to Donald Trump’s environmental record.
Keeping that in mind, maybe that’s what makes this bit of news so troubling. the Center for Biological Diversity is claiming that the Biden administration is withholding documents that detail communications among political officials, members of Congress, and agency employees over potential legislation that would further weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Center has filed a lawsuit seeking the release of those documents.
The lawsuit was filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and was prompted by other documents that the Center had obtained that show officials in the Interior Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service considering giving their stamp of approval to legislation that would water down the legal requirements of the Forest Service when assessing the conservation needs of endangered species.
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