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President Trump Rolls Back Onerous “Endangered Species” Rule Protections

President Trump Rolls Back Onerous “Endangered Species” Rule Protections

After 50 years, most sensible people think it is time for a review, update…and add protections against anti-capitalist, science-ignorant eco-activists.

President Donald Trump has promised to roll back business-killing regulations to create a healthier economic climate.

Some of the most difficult of those regulations came from the “Endangered Species Act.” The government implemented the rules initially to protect whales, eagles, and other wildlife. It eventually devolved into a green dictatorship in which small fish and insects could be used to prohibit land and business development.

Now, after 50 years of implementation, the Trump Administration is rethinking the application of these rules.

The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law and making it harder to protect wildlife from the multiple threats posed by climate change.

The new rules would make it easier to remove a species from the endangered list and weaken protections for threatened species, the classification one step below endangered. And, for the first time, regulators would be allowed to conduct economic assessments — for instance, estimating lost revenue from a prohibition on logging in a critical habitat — when deciding whether a species warrants protection.

Critically, the changes would also make it more difficult for regulators to factor in the effects of climate change on wildlife when making those decisions because those threats tend to be decades away, not immediate.

Given the level of histrionics from environmentalists, the change is likely to give a significant boost to American business and the legal citizens it employs.

“Over the objections of nearly everyone, the Trump Administration has eviscerated one of our nation’s foundational environmental laws. Poll after poll shows Americans support the Endangered Species Act as a lifeline to the wildlife it protects. The Administration ignored the hundreds of thousands of objections from scientists, wildlife experts and the American people who overwhelmingly support.

An observation related one species that was initially on the list might be worthwhile, to determine if the green histrionics is justified.

First, bald eagles are making a comeback. The species was removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in the Lower 48 States on June 28, 2007.

Now, Pennsylvania wildlife officials can’t count them all.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says there are too many bald eagle nests for the agency to count on its own and it needs the public’s help.

The commission used to release bald eagle numbers annually on the Fourth of July back when the birds were threatened. But bald eagles have made a comeback, from three nesting pairs in 1983 to more than 300 nesting pairs now around the state.

Sean Murphy, an ornithologist with the commission, tells the Tribune Review that the boom makes it difficult for the agency alone to track them.

And don’t get me started on cougars or polar bears!!!

Some Americans greeted the news with a sense of relief.

The announcement was hailed by a number of industry groups, ranging from oil and gas companies to utilities and ranchers.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association referred to the decision as “long-awaited regulatory relief,” while the American Petroleum Institute said it would lead to “the reduction of duplicative and unnecessary regulations that ultimately bog down conservation efforts.”

Enjoy the eco-schadenfreude that will be streaming through social media covering this latest Trump Administration roll-back. I hope you can handle all the hyperbole and hysterics.

On the other hand, after 50 years, most sensible people think it is time for a review, update, and add protections against anti-capitalist, science-ignorant eco-activists.


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The Endangered Species Act has long been a legislative tool of Democrat Party sanctioned NGOs. Court ordered legislation through sympathetic District Judges. Who can forget the “snail darter” killing off the Westway project in New York City. Or a judge turning off water to agricultural areas of California.

Public policy belongs with the legislature not NGOs

    countrylaw in reply to dystopia. | August 13, 2019 at 7:24 am

    Or Winter vs NRDC where an NGO and a sympathetic District Court judge tried to use “whales” and the Endangered Specieis Act to enjoin the United States Navy from practicing Antisubmarine warfare

    sidebar in reply to dystopia. | August 13, 2019 at 7:56 am

    I thought Democrats believed in science. Don’t they believe and worship “The Theory of Evolution” and “Survival of the Fittest?” The Endangered Species Act seems at odds with those precepts.

    How about using the act to kill off windmills for endangering birds?

      4fun in reply to jb4. | August 13, 2019 at 9:17 pm

      (dimwitocrats) “Screech! But that’s different. Screech.
      As long as it’s us killing them off in favor of our pet projects that makes it virtuous. Screech.”

Richard Nixon signed the initial Endangered Species Act. He instituted fuel saving regulations. The Democrats still came for him.

The Democrats will still come for President Trump no matter what he does on gun control. There is no compromise with the Democrat.

    legacyrepublican in reply to Liberty Bell. | August 13, 2019 at 9:02 am

    And please don’t forget wage and price freezes Nixon instituted. Oh, and the executive order the left ought to have loved him for doing, affirmative action — aka the Philadelphia order.

    Milhouse in reply to Liberty Bell. | August 13, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Nixon was a moderate socialist. Even by the standards of his day.


I have never understood why so many people take it absolutely for granted that it would be a terrible thing for any species to become extinct. If a species gives no benefit whatsoever to mankind, whether a practical benefit or the pleasure of looking at it, then why should we care if it disappears? Just on the off chance that our descendants 1000 years from now might discover some hypothetical benefit it might give them?! That’s ridiculous.

And the same goes for “wilderness”. If a piece of land is not pretty to look at, or it’s too remote for anyone to get there to look at it, then it should be used to benefit someone in some other way. Just leaving land unused, for no reason but a feeling that it would be morally wrong to use it, is stupid.

The EPAs rules haven’t done anything to protect eagles and bats from the biggest killer of all, windmills. The environmentalists have nothing to say about that.

    Close The Fed in reply to floridaman. | August 13, 2019 at 10:25 am

    This is too mild an observation. The failure of “environmentalists” to scream for a halt of windmills and solar farms that kills hundreds of thousands of birds tells us environmentalism isn’t really their priority.

    They don’t care if birds die. Their true priority is control, telling the rest of us what to do. “Environmentalism” is just a tool for that, and when something else controls us better, they abandon it.

    On the other hand, I am very concerned about the numbers of birds dying from windmills. Those things are inefficient and the subsidies need to die! Then they’ll quit popping up on their own.

    We need to get a grip and go to nuclear. Theil I heard has been working on small sized reactors to make them useful on a small scale.

    MattMusson in reply to floridaman. | August 13, 2019 at 11:22 am

    In retrospect it is easy to see that scientists were undercounting Bald Eagles and over counting Golden Eagles. Given that they were usually observing eagles from hundreds of yards away, we can understand their mistakes.

    Young bald eagles look very much like older bald eagles.

    And, many older bald eagles were growing their feathers long on one side and combing them over.

This change might put a crimp in NGOs like The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) being encouraged by EPA to file suit to force the government to enforce an arcane rule an administration (usually Republican) doesn’t wish to enforce. These suits usually end with a settlement where EPA agrees to give the NGO legal costs (at a minimum) and often punitive damages so the NGO gains funding courtesy of the taxpayer. Many of us believe EPA employees coordinate the scam with the NGOs, they get enforcement of a rule they believe is important (and is part of their bureaucratic fiefdom, making their job more important) and they get to fund their friends in the NGO.

I have never understood the endangered species act. Survival of the fittest. Adapt or die. So one species dies off, another, fitter one will replace it. Circle of life.

    Milhouse in reply to labrat. | August 13, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    There are species that are actually useful to humans, and in the past some of them have been driven to extinction. Evolution isn’t fast enough to replace them. We no longer have dodos or passenger pigeons, because we were too greedy and short-sighted. Nowadays we’d farm them, and then we could have all we liked.

    But snail darters, delta smelts, and “northern spotted owls” (which are exactly the same as southern, eastern, and western spotted owls) don’t fit in that category.

Edward hit the nail right on the head.

They can start in Balmer and DC by removing rattus biggusassus.

Chris’ Fredo to Andrew’s Mike with a Sonny-like reaction. Yeah, pretty much.

The smallpox virus is almost extinct! We need to bring it back!

The Endangered Species act has been for the last few decades only used to interfere with businesses. There was the northern spotted owl that wasn’t different from the other owls, but they stopped logging for a while.

Farmers and Ranchers were encouraged by the act to turn their property into deserts so no endangered species would ever be found (and kill and bury any that might be seen), lest they WITHOUT COMPENSATION – where’s the 5th amendment takings? – lose any use of their land.

Right now you can’t build a pond or the EPA will fine you $30k/day.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to tz. | August 13, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    The spotted owl was used to accomplish through the back door what they could not accomplish from the front, and that was to rewrite the Oregon and California Lands Act (OCLA). OCLA vested authority in a large amount of forests in the BLM and it is a dominant use statute specifying wood production over all other interests. It is not like the Nat’l Forest Mgt. Act or the Fed Land Policy & Mgt. Act which both have multiple use mandates. It is Exhibit A of use of the ESA for NIMBY purposes.

    It turned out that the old growth Douglas Fir forests really were not critical habitat to Spotted Owls anyway, it was just a habitat they preferred. The owls proved adaptive to younger trees in areas with uneven age silviculture.

Too much drama.

The Trump Administration should do what all Democrat Administrations do…use a “Sue & Settle” strategy with business groups instead of environmental groups to get what they want.

The way it works is that alleged aggrieved parties (environmental NGOs in previous Democrat administrations) sue Government agencies over laws, regulation, or rules they want to be changed. After the suit is filed, the suddenly very ‘friendly’ Agencies and NGOs come to a “settlement” between themselves – in secret since it is negotiations related to a lawsuit, don’tchaknow. They then parade the sham “agreement” past a judge who ALWAYs signs-off on it since it is a negotiated settlement.

Then, viola – Stroke of a Pen, Law of the Land without all that messy Rule Making, Public Comment Periods, and subsequent lawsuits.

Remember that time when Fake Science and The Endangered Species Act led to the outlawing of DDT, resulting in the deaths of millions of poor little black African kids?

OleDirtyBarrister | August 13, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Trump and his admin would do well to discuss the intent and purpose of the ESA and how the statute and regulatory program have actually performed in the real world. Specifically, they should cite the data on dollars and hours expended on shuffling paper, pushing pencils, mashing buttons, and litigation versus more productive things like Section 10 contracts, conservation easements, acquiring habitat, restoring habitat, and successfully propagating threatened or endangered species.

NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard, and the ESA has been highjacked by NIMBYism. The amount of time, money, and effort co-opted is absurd in relation to the same for doing actual work with a payoff.

There is a winning argument to reform the ESA but so far I have not heard Trump and his administration articulate it.

so if I, as a non american indian, find a bald eagle feather can I keep it?

Question: will this at all help save eagles and other birds being CHOPPED TO BITS by wind farms? or FRIED TO BITS by large solar panel installations?

For all the greenie-commie NONSENSE, they have NO problem killing BIRDS for their precious “eco” energy…


If an animal has been on the endangered animals list for 50 years it’s probably on the wrong list and should be on the extinct animals register.

For me he’s crossed a red line here and turned me into a one issue voter … he’ll never get my vote now.

Here in Alaska, we have sharp-shooters blasting the Bald Eagles at the land-fill.
You can’t allow them to become dependent upon garbage… so better to do away with them.

Without that law we might have less habitat for the snail darter and delta smelt! Oh and a lot more and better functioning infrastructure, but so what? The point is not to allow too much good engineering.