President Trump has issued an executive order invoking an emergency section of federal law allowing significant environmental harm to wildlife and habitat without the normal Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act requirements. These laws require public input, scientific review and transparency in federal timber sales and other development projects on public lands. The executive order waives environmental laws in order to speed approval of federal projects.
“This is the Trump administration’s latest attack on sensible environmental laws that protect wildlife and public lands,” said Dave Werntz, Conservation Northwest Science and Conservation Director. “Now using the pandemic as a cloak to further sweep aside community voices and accountability, this is an imprudent decision and risk to our natural heritage.”
Statement by the National Wildlife Federation
“Using the global pandemic as an excuse to further erode public health and environmental protections is as cynical as it is irresponsible,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “The millions of Americans facing public health challenges, staggering unemployment, and racial injustices need the White House to focus on health, jobs, and eliminating systemic racism, rather than exacerbating these interconnected challenges through unrelenting pursuit of harmful environmental and health rollbacks under the cover of darkness.”