#Endangered Species Act
Trump and Big Oil Have Some Bad Days In Court

Trump and Big Oil Have Some Bad Days In Court

A federal appeals court in California ruled that lawsuits against the major oil companies by San Mateo County and the city of Oakland for compensation for climate change impacts such as sea-level rise are not blocked by federal law from going forward in state court.  And a judge in Montana invalidated 440 oil and gas leases on federal land because the Interior Department did not adhere to an agreement between the agency and farmers, ranchers, conservationists, and energy groups to protect habitat for the sage grouse, which allowed the bird to remain off the endangered species list.

Why This Matters:  Oil and gas companies have suffered several high profile unfavorable rulings in recent days.

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Right Whale Protections Amped Up in New England

Right Whale Protections Amped Up in New England

A federal judge in Boston ruled late Thursday that Massachusetts is violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by granting permits to lobster fishers to use vertical buoy lines, the ropes that connect lobster traps on the seafloor to buoys at the surface, without federal permission because the fishing lines are the leading cause of death of highly endangered right whales over the past decade.

Why This Matters:  The Boston court ruling will likely disrupt the lobster industry in the short run.

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Earth Week Interviews with EPA Administrators Gina McCarthy and William Reilly

Earth Week Interviews with EPA Administrators Gina McCarthy and William Reilly

This week, The Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy produced a special double episode of its excellent Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, in which their Founding Director, Jason Bordoff, interviewed two champions of the environmental movement — one Republican, one Democrat. With the Center’s permission, we have excerpted each of them below. Earth Day At 50: […]

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Federal Judge Cancels $125m In Oil and Gas Leases on Sage Grouse Habitat

Federal Judge Cancels $125m In Oil and Gas Leases on Sage Grouse Habitat

A federal judge in Idaho last Thursday invalidated $125 million in oil and gas leases on public lands in Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah because the Trump administration failed to give the public adequate time for comments on them.

Why This Matters:  Score one for the sage grouse!  Under the ruling,  nearly 1 million acres’ worth of fast-tracked public lands leases have been canceled.

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How the West Was Lost

How the West Was Lost

By Kate Wall When one thinks of the western United States it’s hard not to conjure up images of wildlife and wilderness.  But a coalition of “western” lawmakers wants to change that.  Last week the Congressional Western Caucus formally announced a raft of legislation aimed squarely at the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA has […]

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Trump’s Endangered Species Rollbacks Target Hawaiian Royal Hawk

Trump’s Endangered Species Rollbacks Target Hawaiian Royal Hawk

For native Hawaiians the Hawaiian hawk, or ‘io is a symbol of royalty and is considered an “‘aumakua”—a family or personal god—which made harming or killing this bird taboo. The hawk has also been in a battle for its endangered status listing since the George W. Bush administration. And while most Hawaiians oppose its delisting, […]

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Court Issues Leviathan Ruling In Favor of Right Whales

Court Issues Leviathan Ruling In Favor of Right Whales

A federal court in Washington, D.C. handed the highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whale a leviathan victory ruling that the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to open up two areas amounting to 3,000 square miles off the New England coast to gillnet fishing violated the Endangered Species Act.  The Court restored the previous prohibition on the use of gillnets by fishermen in the whales’ critical habitat.

Why This Matters:  There are only 400 North Atlantic Right Whales remaining and 30 have died as a result of ship strikes and gear entanglements since 2017.  In recent years, the areas that the government re-opened to fishing have become increasingly important as gathering and feeding spots for right whales, with up to a quarter of the population spotted in these areas during some seasons of the year. 

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Trump “Jokes” About Border Wall Pardons

Trump “Jokes” About Border Wall Pardons

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that the President told subordinates they should “take the land” and could break the law in order to get the border wall completed because he would “pardon” them – a statement the White House later claimed was just a joke. 

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Breakthroughs in Global Protection From Trade for Mako Sharks and Giraffes

Breakthroughs in Global Protection From Trade for Mako Sharks and Giraffes

Delegates from around the world came to the defense of one of the most critically endangered marine species — the mako shark (often targeted for shark fin soup) — moving ahead a global trade ban for final consideration by the U.N. body that deals with trade in endangered species despite opposition to the ban by Japan, Canada, and the United States.  Final approval of the ban is expected later this week.

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Trump Rolls Back Endangered Species Protections, Despite Widespread Public Support

Trump Rolls Back Endangered Species Protections, Despite Widespread Public Support

Enacted with bipartisan support in 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is the United States’ most effective species conservation law but the Trump Administration has made the act a target in their efforts to roll back environmental protections. As Vox reported, yesterday, “the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration […]

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The Endangered Species Act Is Now the One That Is Endangered

The Endangered Species Act Is Now the One That Is Endangered

By Beth Allgood, U.S. Country Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare According to a 2019 independent survey conducted on behalf of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), a vast majority of Americans affirmed that it is ‘very important’ for the United States to protect endangered species both domestically and across the globe. Three in […]

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One Cool Thing:  Turtle Power!

One Cool Thing: Turtle Power!

Loggerhead turtles have laid a record number of nests this year on the East Coast of the U.S. from North Carolina to Florida — more than 12,200, smashing the previous record by nearly a thousand nests in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.  And while just the nest numbers alone bode well for the future […]

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