The Trump administration announced sweeping regulatory rollbacks Monday to the Endangered Species Act, drawing outcry from environmental groups and threats of lawsuits.
The changes allow regulators for the first time to calculate potential economic effects when deciding whether an animal or plant at risk of extinction should be protected. That, critics say, appears to contradict a 37-year-old mandate from Congress, which declares that “economic considerations have no relevance” in such deliberations.
The new rules also strip automatic top-level protection for species newly listed as threatened and constrain consideration of climate change, a factor widely expected to push many plants and animals toward extinction.[Continue Reading]