Editorial: Corporations keep trying to throw out progressive California laws. Do we need reforms?
Last week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Cal.) are introducing a bill that would reverse many of the regulations the Trump administration is rolling back at the Environmental Protection Agency. The bill, the Endangered Species Act, would establish two major rules: the requirement for the president to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service before he can issue any new endangered species listings, and the requirement for him to make a finding on the effectiveness of his efforts to recover from the effects of a listing by 2020.
These rules are critical for the recovery of imperiled species and wild places and are a key part of the Endangered Species Act, which is meant to regulate trade in wildlife, prevent the extinction of endangered species, and maintain healthy habitats for future generations. It’s a complicated act, both on the federal and the state levels, but the regulations it demands are reasonable. If it were up to the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, these rules would be under attack.
While this is good news, it’s important to note that the Endangered Species Act and the Obama-era regulations at the EPA are not always in sync. The EPA regulations, for example, require that a species be listed only when it’s in need of protection. The Endangered Species Act, in contrast, requires the president to make decisions based on “the best scientific and commercial data available.” This distinction, and some others, have become blurred as the Trump administration has been rolling back regulations on both fronts simultaneously.
There’s no need to start bickering about regulations. This is why we’re here. The Endangered Species Act does everything it can to ensure endangered species have a fair chance at survival, recover, and thrive.
To be clear, the Trump administration has taken this regulation from the table, meaning that its action on fish and wildlife endangerments is unprecedented and illegal. But