Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement after a federal judge ruled California and 16 other states can sue the Trump administration for weakening key Endangered Species Act protections:
“Last year, California led 17 states in filing a lawsuit challenging a Trump administration rule that would undermine the Endangered Species Act. Yesterday, a federal judge allowed that lawsuit to move forward by rejecting an administration attempt to dismiss it.
Simply put, the government should not ignore science when enforcing the Endangered Species Act, and that’s what the lawsuit filed by 17 attorneys general seeks to ensure.
“There are 296 plants and animals in California that are protected by the Endangered Species Act. That includes the iconic desert tortoise, California condor and Humpback whale. If the administration is allowed to roll back these protections, the survival of these species will be threatened and many could be lost within a generation.
“It’s particularly concerning that the administration is disregarding the effects of climate change when applying the law. The U.N. estimates that nearly 1 million species are at risk of extinction because of climate change. That fact can’t be overlooked when determining protections for threatened species.
“The protections in the Endangered Species Act have been responsible for bringing many species back from the brink of extinction. Weakening the law now would unravel that progress. I’m pleased that this lawsuit, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, is moving forward, and I hope it will stop the administration from undermining this vital law.”