ENVIRONMENT/ESA/INTERIOR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Trump administration announced on Monday [8-12-19] it would change how it implements the Endangered Species Act, weakening protections that environmentalists say violate the law and make it easier for oil companies, real estate interests and the agriculture industry to develop land inhabited by vulnerable wildlife. The revisions announced in the new rule were a culmination of more than a year of efforts to loosen restrictions written to protect hundreds of species judged to be under pressure. The Interior Department has argued that a streamlining is necessary to update how it enforces the 1973 law, including allowing the federal government to begin to measure the economic costs of protecting some species…The revisions spearheaded by Bernhardt, who previously lobbied on behalf of oil and agriculture sectors, include preventing Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service from automatically offering full endangered species protections to wildlife classified as ‘threatened’ and minimizing its consideration of climate change when analyzing a species.”

Ben Lefebvre, “Trump administration eases endangered species rules,” Politico, August 12, 2019 3:58 pm