White House Misses Opportunity to Undo Trump Legacy of Attacks on ESA

New Regulations Attempt to Fix Trump’s Damage, But Fall Short in Key Areas

Ian Brickey, 202-675-6270, ian.brickey@sierraclub.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the Biden Administration announced new revisions to Endangered Species Act regulations that improve some protections for imperiled wildlife, but leave intact many harmful changes implemented by Donald Trump. 

The Biden Regulations, initially proposed last summer by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, preserve devastating provisions raising the threshold for agency action to protect species, ignoring ongoing environmental harm in official reviews of agency actions, allowing speculative actions to influence departmental policy, and allowing piecemeal habitat destruction.

In 2019, the Trump Administration finalized sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act that sought to gut the bedrock environmental law.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous released the following statement:

“One of the lingering legacies of Donald Trump is his attempt to undermine the Endangered Species Act, one of the most successful and popular conservation laws in the history of the United States. The Biden Administration has reversed some of the worst aspects of the Trump regulations, but it missed an opportunity to end the nightmare Donald Trump created for wildlife. 

“Around the world, species are facing an unprecedented threat of extinction. At this moment, we should be listening to scientists and acting urgently to save biodiversity, not letting Donald Trump’s gutting of environmental safeguards and sellouts to Big Business stand.

“President Biden has made generational investments in climate action with the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, but we need him to do more to protect imperiled wildlife. The Biden administration needs to protect more habitat, not less. We need the administration to increase protections for biodiversity, not abandon them. The president has the power, and we need him to use it.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.