Hexbyte Glen Cove Biden administration will restore key environmental protections thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Biden administration will restore key environmental protections

Hexbyte Glen Cove

The Endangered Species Act is credited with saving iconic species like the bald eagle.

The administration of President Joe Biden on Friday announced it would restore protections under the Endangered Species Act, a law credited with saving iconic animals like the gray wolf and bald eagle, which were loosened by his predecessor Donald Trump.

Conservation groups welcomed the move but said they were concerned about how long the reversal might take.

“The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is committed to working with diverse federal, Tribal, state and industry partners to not only protect and recover America’s imperiled wildlife but to ensure cornerstone laws like the Endangered Species Act are helping us meet 21st century challenges,” said the agency’s Martha Williams.

The executive branch doesn’t have the power to change an act of Congress, but under Trump the protections for plants and wildlife were tweaked in key ways.

They included removing a rule that automatically conveys the same protections to threatened species and , and allowing information on economic impact to be gathered when making determinations on how wildlife is listed.

The FWS now proposes to undo those changes, saying it would formulate new rules in the coming months.

“We are grateful the Biden administration is moving to protect the most imperiled species by reversing the Trump-era rules, but time is of the essence,” environmental law non-profit group Earthjustice said in response.

“Each day that goes by is another day that puts our imperiled species and their habitats in danger.”



© 2021 AFP

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Biden administration will restore key environmental protections (2021, June 5)
retrieved 6 June 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Biden administration proposes restoring California's right to set car pollution rules thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Biden administration proposes restoring California’s right to set car pollution rules

Hexbyte Glen Cove

by Anna M. Phillips

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The Transportation Department announced Thursday it was withdrawing part of a Trump-era rule that blocked states from setting their own tough car pollution standards, reversing actions by the Trump administration that weakened California’s ability to fight climate change.

The newly proposed rule change, which will be subject to a 30-day comment period, would restore California’s authority to set and greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and SUVs, and to require car companies to sell more electric vehicles.

The agency’s action Thursday suggested the Biden administration was laying the groundwork to eventually reinstate California’s legal waiver, which was granted by the Obama administration under the authority of the 1970 Clean Air Act. The waiver had allowed the state to set stricter auto emission and fuel efficiency rules than even the federal government. That power was widely considered one of the state’s most effective weapons in the fight against and air pollution.

Trump revoked California’s waiver in 2019 shortly before his administration issued a new set of fuel economy and emissions rules that were significantly weaker than the Obama standards. The change also affected the District of Columbia and the 13 states that follow California’s tighter standards.

California and nearly two dozen other states sued the administration, challenging the decision. Major auto manufacturers, including General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota, joined the lawsuit on Trump’s side in an effort to block the state’s tough fuel economy rules. They quickly abandoned the cause after President Joe Biden was elected.

“The Trump administration should never have challenged California’s legal authority to set our own vehicle emission standards,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement. “The Clean Air Act clearly gives us the right to protect the air Californians breathe and I want to thank the Biden administration for dropping this frivolous challenge.”



©2021 Los Angeles Times.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation:
Biden administration proposes restoring California’s right to set car pollution rules (2021, April 23)
retrieved 24 April 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-biden-administration-california-car-pollution.html

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