Carper Fights Trump Administration’s Attacks On Landmark Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries announcement to rollback key sections of the Endangered Species Act, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, filed four amendments in the Senate to increase funding for implementation of the landmark Endangered Species Act, which is helping to recover the Red Knot and Piping Plover in Delaware and continues to be one of our country’s most popular and successful environmental protection laws.

“The Trump Administration is brazenly trying to gut one of the most successful and popular environmental protection laws in our country,” said Senator Carper. “We can’t lose sight of the importance of protecting and recovering endangered species in Delaware and across the country – we should look to the thousands of species that have been recovered over the last 45 years and the $1.6 trillion in economic benefits America has enjoyed since its enactment. That’s why I’m proud to have filed amendments in the Senate to provide additional funding for this landmark law. We need more resources for recovery efforts, not proposals that hamstring our agencies working to protect vital species and environments.”

Senator Carper’s amendments would increase funding for the listing and recovery of species under ESA and the science program that supports species management decisions. Specifically, the amendments would:

  • Increase funds for the recovery of species under ESA.
  • Increase funding for adaptive science in ecological services.
  • Increase funding for listing species under ESA.
  • Require the hiring of employees for the Information, Planning and Consultation System within the Environmental Conservation Online System.

Last week, Senator Carper pointed out that the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to the landmark environmental law would “undercut vital sections…that may harm imperiled species.” Senator Carper also raised concerns over changes to the Endangered Species Act proposed by Senate Republicans during an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing. He pointed out that the proposed changes could prevent the best science from guiding species management, especially in an administration that consistently denies and undermines science.

Key changes to the Endangered Species Act regulations proposed by the Trump Administration would:

  • Remove the phrase “without reference to possible economic or other impacts of such determination” from the law when listing endangered species. This change could undermine best available science, which should remain the sole driver of listing decisions.
  • Change how the Services consider “foreseeable future” when determining whether a species should be listed as threatened. This change could severely limit protections for endangered species most affected by climate change.
  • The Services are also seeking comments on limiting input from federal agencies directly impacted by decisions made by other agencies in the Endangered Species Act consultation process.