In the last two weeks, both the Senate and House have introduced bills proposing damaging amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the leading piece of science-based legislation used to protect and recover biodiversity in the United States. Notably, Senator John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) and long-time critic of the Act, released a discussion draft of the bill he’s been working on entitled, “the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018.” The changes to the Act would introduce more routes for political interference under the guise of increased transparency, while relegating science to an afterthought instead of the basis upon which Endangered Species Act decisions are made. An EPW hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning, where representatives from Wyoming, Colorado, and Virginia will testify before the committee on the proposed changes to the Act.
July 16, 2018 2:30 PM EDT
July 5, 2018 12:41 PM EDT
It seems there is a doggedly persistent contingent of lawmakers in Congress whose life goals include defunding, weakening, ignoring, and overhauling endangered species protections. Their tactics are varied: sidelining science in favor of industry interests, attaching harmful riders to “must-pass” spending bills, and introducing legislation whose insidious intentions are masked by semantics. Here is a quick rundown of current endangered species attacks. Read more >
May 9, 2018 4:39 PM EDT
I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, a land of extremes. Temperatures could drop below -50ᵒ Fahrenheit in the winter and the darkness would seem to stretch out endlessly, while the summers provided radiant sunshine for months that infused a sense of magic into our town. Certainly, for me, the most charmed experiences from my childhood all happened in the Alaskan wilderness. Read more >
February 13, 2018 2:33 PM EDT
Valentine’s Day. It’s the time of year where we, as a nation, spend an exorbitant amount of money on roses, heart-shaped chocolates, and oversized teddy bears. In 2017, America spent $18.2 billion (an average of $136.57 per person) on gifts to show their affection for that special someone. Read more >
November 16, 2017 11:38 AM EDT
Holiday gatherings with the family can be awkward, especially if you aren’t prepared for the inevitable table talk. Feeling like you don’t have enough fodder to sustain a conversation at the Thanksgiving dinner table this month?
Fret not! Every year around this time, my colleagues write about the budget process as the clock ticks for Congress to pass a clean budget – that is, a budget free from “poison pill” policy provisions and seemingly innocuous regulatory process riders that would hamper agencies from utilizing the best available science in rulemaking. These anti-science riders are extraneous special interest policies tacked onto a must-pass spending bill, a sort of parasitic mutualism, if you will. Read more >