Cantwell, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Reverse Trump Administration Attacks on Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined House Natural Resources Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) in introducing legislation to repeal three Trump administration rule changes to the Endangered Species Act that will weaken the way the United States protects threatened and endangered species. 

Under the new rules, the administration can ignore long-term threats to wildlife from climate change and remove guaranteed protections to threatened species listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, essentially nullifying the protective value of a threatened listing. 

“It’s hard to believe the Trump administration wants to roll back protections essential for preserving endangered American wildlife, which are representative of the health of our environment,” Senator Cantwell said. “We owe it to our children and their children to save orcas, polar bears, and even sage grouse living and thriving in their natural habitat. We cannot let polluters ruin our environment. The Endangered Species Act is one of the best tools we have to apply science towards recovering at-risk species and our environment at large." 

The ESA is a remarkably successful law: 99% of species listed under the ESA have not gone extinct, and the ESA continues to enjoy bipartisan support across the country. Members of the public submitted hundreds of thousands of comments decrying Trump’s proposed changes during a public comment period earlier this year. Last month, when the final changes were announced, Cantwell criticized the decision in a statement. 

In addition to Cantwell and Udall, the Senate legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ). 

The House legislation is cosponsored by Grijalva, as well as U.S. Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Ed Case (D-HI), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Katie Porter (D-CA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-CNMI), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Donna Shalala (D-FL).

The full text of the legislation is available HERE.