Trump Pushes For Further Environmental Deregulation During Final Weeks in Office


Via Flickr

Nicole Welle | November 19, 2020

The Trump administration is using its final weeks to push through dozens of environmental rollbacks that weaken protections for migratory birds, expand arctic drilling and increase future threats to public health.

One proposed change would restrict criminal prosecution for industries that cause the deaths of migratory birds. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 currently protects over 1,000 species of bird including hawks and other birds of prey, and it is used to recover damages in situations like the BP oil spill in 2010 that killed more than 100,00 seabirds, according to an AP article. The Trump administrations wants to ensure that companies face no criminal liability for preventable deaths such as this in the future. Officials advanced bird treaty changes to the white house two days after news organizations declared Joe Biden’s win.

Another recent proposal put forth by the Trump administration would set emission standards for dangerous particles of pollution emitted by refineries and other industrial sources. Others would allow mining and drilling on public lands around the Chaco Canyon National Historical Park in New Mexico and in Alaska.

Most of these proposed changes directly benefit gas and oil industries, and some of them could be difficult for President-elect Joe Biden to reverse once he takes office. Biden could easily reverse some with executive action, but others, like putting protected lands up for sale or lease, could pose a bigger challenge.

Most of the proposed changes will go quickly through the approval process. It is not unusual for presidents to push rule changes through at the tail end of their terms, but many environmentalists and former officials believe this environmental deregulation reflects a pro-industry agenda taken to the extreme. It could have serious negative impacts on the safety of imperiled wildlife, climate change and human health.

Climate change causing birds to migrate early


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Bird migration is the regular season movement, often north and south along a flyway, between breeding and wintering grounds. (Gerry Penny/EPA)

Jake Slobe  January 11, 2017

Migrating birds are responding to the effects of climate change by arriving at their breeding grounds earlier as global temperatures rise, a new study has found.

The University of Edinburgh study looked at hundreds of species across five continents and found that birds are reaching their summer breeding grounds on average about one day earlier per degree of increasing global temperature.

The main reason birds migrate is the changing seasonal temperatures and food availability. Reaching their summer breeding grounds at the wrong time – even by a few days – may cause birds to miss out on maximum availability of vital resources such as food and nesting places.

Late arrival to breeding grounds may, in turn, affect the timing of offspring hatching and their chances of survival.

They hope their study  will help scientists better predict how different species will respond to environmental changes. .