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Trump Chips Away at the Endangered Species Act

The Primary: New Trump administration rules will weaken the Endangered Species Act.

  • Who? What? Why?: The New York Times calls the ESA the nation's "bedrock conservation law." It was signed in 1973 by President Richard Nixon. As the NYT adds, the law has helped stop the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the American alligator from going extinct.

  • The Baseline: The new rules will do two major things to change how the act is enforced – 1) make it easier for animals to be removed from the endangered species list, 2) allow the EPA, for the first time, to weigh the economic impact of protecting certain species. Democrats denounced the changes and some state attorney generals promised to challenge the new rules.

  • From the Left: The Los Angeles Times editorial board thinks the new rule changes are "irresponsible and short sighted." The rule changes "will lead to further extinctions, damage the ecosystem and set back the nation’s efforts to protect wildlife," writes the board. The rule changes amount to a "gift to industry."

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