Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the Trump administration’s plan to weaken key protections under the Endangered Species Act:
“The administration’s decision to dismantle the Endangered Species Act in order to benefit huge corporations will only further harm the environment. Congress should do everything it can to reverse this action.
“California alone is home to 296 plant and animal species protected by the Endangered Species Act. These include the iconic desert tortoise and California condor who are only alive today because of the protections under this law. The changes announced today will threaten their survival, and many species could be lost within a generation.
“It’s particularly distressing that the administration made this decision just three months after a U.N. report laid out the alarming effects of climate change. The U.N. estimates that nearly 1 million species are at risk of extinction because of the effects of climate change. Now is not the time to back away from this monumental challenge.
“In addition to weakening protections for species already listed, this callous decision will make it harder to list new species, needlessly delaying the process until it’s too late to help. Doing so in order to help large companies avoid necessary environmental reviews is irresponsible and shortsighted.
“This is not a problem we can ignore. Scientists predict that half of all species will face extinction by the end of the century. The Endangered Species Act has a proven track record of bringing species back from the brink of extinction, and we can’t afford to undercut it now. California is already taking steps to block this change and I support that effort.”