Endangered Species Act Gutted

Samantha Dynowski

Since its passage in 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has successfully protected from extinction 99% of the insects, plants and animals listed as endangered. This list even includes the bald eagle, the very symbol of America. The ESA was passed with bipartisan support then, and continues to have strong bipartisan support amongst the American public now. We Americans like our wildlife and want to see it preserved.

 

The same cannot be said of the Trump Administration. In August, the Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules that will gut the ESA. The new rules include dropping automatic protections for threatened species, making it easier to take a species off the list, removing protections from habitats that will support endangered species, and injecting economics into the decision-making where only science is applied currently.  The reason for the rule changes are transparent - they are to make it easier for corporations to drill, mine, and frack. Take action against these rule changes.

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Photo credit: Tom Allen

Across the nation and here in Connecticut, there is vocal opposition. Just days after the announcement of the new rules, I stood in solidarity with State Rep. Kerry Wood and environmental groups including Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Save the Sound, Audubon CT, the Endangered Species Coalition and others, as U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal vowed to fight these changes. The backdrop for this event was the Connecticut River in Rocky Hill where bald eagles are back, thanks to the ESA.

Please voice your opposition to these changes by taking action today. These new rules impact our planet in numerous and negative ways. More drilling and fracking will only exacerbate climate change. Loss of species puts the earth’s natural balance out of sync and impacts land, water and air. 
 

Samantha Dynowski is State Director, Sierra Club Connecticut.