Republicans Launch Attempt To Repeal Endangered Species Act

The Endangered species act was signed into law in 1973 to save the American Bald Eagle. Without protection, the bald eagle could have disappeared from the US. Steve Boice/Shutterstock

Of course, being a Democrat does not automatically mean you are for the Act, just as being a Republican does not mean you are against it. Plenty of Democratic members of Congress have helped legislation that will weaken existing protections get through. Not only that, the Act itself was signed into being by a Republican president, the same Republican president who created and implemented the Environmental Protection Agency.

Arguments for dismantling the Act have ranged from "it isn’t saving enough species" to the "financial burden" of protecting species. The main argument for weakening the Act, though, is from the industries – oil, coal, land development, logging, dam building – who want access to the land that is protected under the environmental protection laws.

It is not clear how dismantling the very laws that protect the vulnerable species will help rather than hinder them, and according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Congress contributes just 3.5 percent of the funding needed to help recover these species.

“With 1 in 4 endangered species receiving less than $10,000 a year toward their recovery, the Endangered Species Act needs more funding, not baseless attacks from Senate Republicans,” continued Hartl of the CBD. “Oil companies may be keen to gut and repeal this vital protection for imperiled wildlife, but the American people don’t want our nation’s most effective conservation law shredded to profit the petroleum industry.”

If you are part of the 90 percent who support the Endangered Species Act and don't want to see this priceless piece of legislation dismantled, then contact your Senator and let them know how you feel. Today is the first hearing. It’s not a done deal yet.

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