Carper Statement on Action by the Interior Department to Restore the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today released the following statement in response to plans by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revoke a Trump Administration rule that would weaken the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA):

“I’m pleased to see the Biden Administration reversing course on the previous administration’s attempts to weaken the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. We are at a critical point in our country when it comes to maintaining migratory bird populations. As we work to protect these species and their habitats from threats like pollution and the climate crisis, we must reject the false choice between conservation and regulatory certainty—we can protect our migratory bird populations and grow our economy. It’s critical that we stick to science-based decision making and strengthen, not weaken, laws like MBTA.”


On March 20, 2020, Senator Carper led 22 of his colleagues in a letter asking then-Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary David Bernhardt to reverse course on its proposed rule on the MBTA, outlining concerns about the 45-day comment period and the devastating impacts that could come with removing penalties for companies that incidentally kill birds.

On July 15, 2020, Senator Carper and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) led a group of 20 of their colleagues in a letter to urge Secretary Bernhardt to reverse course on the MTBA rule, citing concerns with the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the rule.

On October 15, 2020, Senator Carper, Senator Van Hollen, and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) led 14 of their colleagues in a letter urging Secretary Bernhardt to rescind the proposed rule change after the Southern District of New York ruled the 2017 M-Opinion, which the new rule is based on, to be unlawful.

On February 4, 2021, Senator Carper applauded the decision by the Department of Interior to delay implementation of the Trump Administration’s rule, urging DOI to restore the MBTA.