Patterico's Pontifications


Administration alters Endangered Species Rules

Filed under: Environment,Politics — DRJ @ 12:00 pm

[Headline/Link from DRJ]

Trump rolls back endangered species protections:

The Trump administration on Monday announced it has finalized a controversial rollback of protections for endangered species, including allowing economic factors to be weighed before adding an animal to the list.

The Interior Department has scaled back other provisions within the law, including protections for threatened species and the review process used before projects are approved on their habitat.

There is also a pending change “to meaningfully distinguish species that are likely to be exposed to and affected by the assessed pesticides from those that are not likely.”

In general, environmentalists fear these changes will further endanger habitats and species, while businesses adversely impacted by the EPA view these as reasonable balancing. That makes this a partisan issue since the former are often Democrats and the latter are often Republicans.

I am curious why it took a GOP President 2 years and 204 days to do this.


29 Responses to “Administration alters Endangered Species Rules”

  1. I am curious why it took a GOP President 2 years and 204 days to do this.

    — DRJ

    Let me start by saying that I believe this is a good policy, and long overdue. With that out of the way, how can anyone of sound mind believe that Donald Trump believes his own bulls**t?

    Gryph (08c844)

  2. You know: been a little busy! A Special counsel investigation, the Gorsuch nomination, the Kavanaugh nomination, firing Comey, Making nice with Rocket-Man, Trying to rework the Census, tariff changes, dunning the NATO cheapskates, dumping the Paris Agreement, pandering to Mad Dog Mattis, watching my EPA chief get ousted, doing a tax cut, trying to dampen down unlimited immigration, dealing with the Stormy lawsuit, working in some golf, ….Priorities.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  3. 2. Politicians gonna politic, I guess.

    Gryph (08c844)

  4. I am curious why it took a GOP President 2 years and 204 days to do this.

    There’s more and more bureacracy as time goes on, and they also wanted to be sure that the rules change wouldn’t be overruled in court, or by Congress. Well, by Congress they ahd to make sure it got done well before Electon Day 2020. And they didn’t want political attacks.

    Sammy Finkelman (324ec1)

  5. I’d like to see more information/details on the change. My gut reaction is that this is not good, but I know of property owners (farmers and ranchers) who’ve been adversely impacted by government regulation, e.g., vernal pools

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  6. Mudd @2


    I know that was somewhat sarcastic, but the idea is wrong. All this goes on routinely, provided the cabinet and sub-cabinet posts get filled – and that took some time and has been taking more and more time in every succesive administration and the Clinton, Obama and Trump Administrations all started out with aSenate cointrolled by the Presdident;s party, and the Bush II Administration, nearly so.

    Anyway they could get started by the fall of 2017, so priorities is not a reason. Avoding controversy is.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  7. Why did they take so long to line everything up?

    Ask Wilbur Ross.

    Geek, Esq. (d2d441)

  8. Some things take time.

    A little searching turned up an article from The Hill dated April 6, 2018 that refers to FWS announcing its proposal the Monday of that week (which would be the 2nd), and thus but a few months over a year since Trump’s inauguration. The remainder of that time until finalization likely is taken up by “process.”

    Also, perhaps in line with Sammy’s comment at 1:54 pm, I noted the final para. of the piece says:

    FWS submitted the proposal within days of reports that President Trump picked Susan Combs to oversee wildlife and parks at the Interior Department. Combs, a former Texas comptroller, has a long a history of opposing endangered species protections.

    ColoComment (89c82f)

  9. The “environmentalist” position goes like this:

    If we identify an endangered species, no matter how trivially different, unimportant, or failing for reasons unrelated to man, it must be protected at all costs. Even if those costs are obvious, predictable and unavoidable threats to a thousand other species, long-term ecological damage elsewhere and significant economic damage to millions of people.

    To wit, the delta smelt, whose “saving” will cost a dustbowl in the CA Central Valley and untold damage to nature as well as Man.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  10. Didn’t Joe Biden just get through saying that no right is absolute?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  11. I am curious why it took a GOP President 2 years and 204 days to do this.

    I’m curious why neither Bush ever did it.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  12. Speaking of ‘endangered species,’ DRJ, slightly OT but might consider a posting on ‘Skyfall’ – not the Bond flick, but reports of this Russian nuke-powered cruise missile accident which blew up that munition facility. Apparently several killed and reports trickling to the West of runs on iodine pill purchases at regional pharmacies there. Putin hasn’t said much about it. An irresponsibly foolish and dangerous weapon to develop in the first place, too. Messy to operate in the atmosphere.

    Could be a growing problem there similar to Chernobyl– creating another ‘dead zone.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  13. Sverdlovsk anthrax outbreak 1979, the more things change…

    Narciso (55c8b7)

  14. 10… from VDH, worth a read…'s-water-wars-13400.html

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  15. DCSCA at 5:05 pm, re: Skyfall

    Craig Pirrong has some thoughts on that.

    ColoComment (89c82f)

  16. Nice article, ColoComment. Thank you.

    Engineers are wreckers, comrades.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. Depends on what they actually changed. There are issues with small businesses and family farms which needed some adjustment, but I don’t have a ton of sympathy for Johnny Midas who is mad because he can’t put a resort on whatever particular stretch of the Florida coast line. And my suspicion is that it helps Johnny Midas more than Joe Family-Farm.

    Nic (896fdf)

  18. @16. Interesting piece. Decades ago, back in the day, had a chance to chat briefly w/Von Braun on this topic. At the time, there were some early plans kicking around in the wake of the post-NERVA days to develop and mount a nuclear-powered third stage to a Saturn V for interplanetary flights but he said that residue from any nuclear powered propulsion system ignited in the atmosphere, even at that altitude, would result in contamination so it pretty much cratered further development along those lines using that sort of propulsion system.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  19. Engineers are wreckers, comrades.

    I’m a hoarder, not a wrecker.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  20. “Didn’t Joe Biden just get through saying that no right is absolute?”

    I dunno, but he just received the endorsement of one Dick Swett.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  21. Two thoughts:

    DCSCA hobnobbed with Nazis!

    NERVA failed for engineering reasons. If we needed to go to Mars back then, they would have made it work, and it would have been reserved for the transfer orbit. As it stands, we will use nuclear powered ion-thrusters in all future manned missions outside Earth-Moon.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  22. I dunno, but he just received the endorsement of one Dick Swett.

    Wiener and Spitzer will endorse shortly.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  23. I’m a hoarder, not a wrecker.

    “Engineers Are Wreckers” was an early Stalin-era purge, complete with show trials, executions and “exiles”, which blamed engineers for the failures of the kommissars and socialist policies.

    nk (dbc370)

  24. @23. Actually, Kevin, they couldn’t make it work, w/o contaminating the atmosphere, which was his point. And Kevin, orange haired or not, they do dress well–look great in grey– and can be quite charming.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  25. I need some more information on this decision, but if it helps prevent the dust bowl situations happening in California, I’m all for it.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  26. DCSCA hobnobbed with Nazis!

    Well, can’t really fault him for that. He was only 5 years old at the time.

    PTw (894877)

  27. I’m curious why neither Bush ever did it.

    They never promised to. In fact, Bush 41 was proud of his aggressive and innovative environmental agenda.

    But Trump campaigned on a promise to roll back regulations and his Cabinet heads have done that, especially the EPA. Good for them but this change benefits one particular industry — oil and gas. It is curious to me why it took so long. Lawsuits will tie this up until the end of Trump’s term. It’s like the Administration wanted to have this issue unresolved in 2020.

    DRJ (15874d)

  28. @28. Put me on a list w/Ike, JFK, LBJ… and Walt Disney. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

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