People, Environment

US Endangered Species Act Under Threat

US Endangered Species Act Under ThreatUS Endangered Species Act Under Threat

The US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held hearings on Wednesday to discuss legislation that would weaken the Endangered Species Act. Quoting an article in The Washington Post, Salon reported that these hearings occurred even as the US House Natural Resources Committee is considering an outright repeal of the bill that committee chairman, Rob Bishop, claims is aimed at “controlling the land”. Senate Republicans argue that the bill violates states’ rights and property rights, as well as limits economic growth in drilling, mining and agriculture. The Endangered Species Act, which was passed in 1973 as a way of protecting animals and plants in danger of extinction, was described in congressional testimony by Defenders of Wildlife CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark as very successful.  “For more than 40 years, the ESA has been successful, bringing the bald eagle, the American alligator, the Stellar sea lion, the peregrine falcon and numerous other species back from the brink of extinction,” Clark said. “Based on data [from the Fish and Wildlife Service], the ESA has saved 99% of listed species from extinction.”


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