Trump Begins Rollback Of Endangered Species Act 🦅

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Trump announces plans to change the application of the ESA

The change comes following his previous attempt to fundamentally change the act, which failed to pass the House. In response to this new attempt at changing the 47 year old act, conversation activists and attorneys decry any interference with wildlife conservation. The change exempts climate change from key sections of ESA’s enforcement

How does this really affect the Endangered Species Act?

The act has not been revoked. Instead, Trump’s changes target the enforcement of the act. The change will end blanket protection of newly-endangered species as well as allow economic impact to be considered when protecting any given specific species. 


Chicago Tribune: Trump overhauling enforcement of the Endangered Species Act

Fox 59: Trump to overhaul enforcement of Endangered Species Act

The right 
emphasizes the reduced economic burden that the change will enable. Repeated use of the word “overhaul” suggests that Trump’s actions improve the act rather than detract from it. Sources highlight the increased efficiency of the act and claim that it won’t substantially harm wildlife. 


Huffington Post: Trump Administration Weakens Endangered Species Act Amid Global Extinction Crisis

New York Times: Trump Administration weakens protections for endangered species

The left takes the stance that Trump’s actions directly harm protected species. Many headlines use the word “weaken” to suggest that Trump is knowingly damaging the act and its ability to protect wildlife. Articles also bring up the ways the change ignores climate change as a potential problem for wildlife in the near future. 

Where's the common ground?

Most articles agree that protection of the US’s most endangered species is important, and several draw attention to the bald eagle and American alligator, both of which are on the list of endangered species and have been kept from going extinct. The most prominent dissonance between the two interpretations lies in the prioritization of climate change. 

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