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ESA Caucus Co-Chairs Dingell, Grijalva, and Beyer Applaud Repeal of Harmful Trump-Era Rule to Weaken the Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Co-Chairs of the Endangered Species Act Caucus— Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.)—issued the following joint statement on the Biden administration’s announcement to rescind a rule issued by the Trump administration that weakened the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Trump-era rule, finalized in December 2020, narrowed the definition of “habitat” under ESA, excluding ecosystems that are critical for endangered and threatened species from protection. 

“With nearly a third of America’s wildlife at risk of extinction, we should be bolstering our efforts to protect threatened and endangered species, not hamstringing them. Our country’s biodiversity is one of its greatest tools in the fight against the climate crisis. Healthier wildlife populations mean healthier ecosystems, which results in stronger shorelines, less intense wildfires, better water quality, and fewer pests, among many other benefits. 

“The Trump administration’s relentless attack on the Endangered Species Act was reckless, short-sighted and nothing more than another page in their anti-environment, pro-industry playbook. We are proud to see the Biden administration recognize how bad this rule was for wildlife, the environment, and our future by taking action to rescind it today.”

Last week, the House passed the bipartisan H.R. 2773, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, introduced by Rep. Dingell, which will provide nearly $1.4 billion annually to states, territories, and tribes to support their wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation efforts. At least 15 percent of the provided funding will be spent on protecting endangered or threatened species. The Biden administration recently issued a statement of support for the bill. 
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