The Biden administration is restoring protections for endangered animals and plants that were weakened during the Trump era. The protections in question stem from a federal law known as the Endangered Species Act, the specific applications of which were adjusted by the Trump administration to prioritize economic interests. Now, The Washington Post explains, the “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service under President Biden are moving to undo much of the Trump administration’s work that altered the ways habitats of plants and animals on the verge of extinction are kept from total collapse.”
The Biden administration’s moves boost “the federal government’s power to protect vanishing plants and animals,” the Post adds. Martha Williams, who works as principal deputy director at the Fish and Wildlife Service in the Biden administration, commented that her agency will be cooperating with industrial interests and Native American tribes in order “to not only protect and recover America’s imperiled wildlife but to ensure cornerstone laws like the Endangered Species Act are helping us meet 21st century challenges.”
As the Post explains, the Trump administration had “allowed wildlife officials to take the economic cost of conserving species into account when deciding whether to put a plant or animal on the endangered species list,” which doesn’t exactly seem constructive and which concerned observers relevantly pointed out appeared to stand in stark violation of the original Endangered Species Act. Not only did they allow more outs from implementing initial protections, but the Trump administration also “made it easier to remove protections for threatened species,” the Post adds. Now, federal authorities will be re-orchestrating these frameworks to better guard species that may benefit from protection efforts.
The Biden administration has sought to roll out ambitious action to tackle environmental issues including climate change, including with a proposal to conserve 30 percent of the land and waterways across the United States by 2030, although obstruction-minded Republicans in Congress certainly haven’t helped these plans along. Biden has also sought to include investments in electric vehicle technology in the infrastructure spending proposal that he has put forward.