The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is getting beaten up like it stole something. Last year House Republicans introduced a package of bills attacking the 40 year law that has saved species like the Bald Eagle and the Grizzly Bear from extinction.1 Thankfully the bills never made it out of the Senate -- but this week House Republicans announced plans to weaken the ESA even more.2 What's worse is the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works is also considering several bills that would all but eviscerate our ability to protect species3 One of the bills would even require the Department of the Interior to value short-term profits of Big Oil companies more than long-term protection of wildlife.
The news gets even worse as this week President Obama, under pressure from Congress and Big Oil lobbyists, announced plans to "seriously overhaul the law."4 One of the overhauls would require a citizen or conservation group to get approval from State wildlife agencies before petitioning the ESA to cover a species. It all boils down to a triple threat facing one of our movement's most effective laws, and the future of dozens of threatened and endangered species .
That's why I need you to contact the President and your Senators and tell them straight up, "Don't Endanger The Endangered Species Act!" Will you stand up for the protection of wildlife by clicking here?
Make no mistake, the proposed overhaul of the ESA is designed to REDUCE the protection of species and INCREASE the protection of Big Oil profits. The latest critic of the law, Climate Denier-In-Chief James Inhofe, basically saids so at last week's Senate hearing. Inhofe attempted to launch a campaign of misinformation about the ESA's effectiveness and popularity. He claimed that the ESA has only resulted in saving 12 species from the brink of extinction, when in fact that number is 23, and he claimed that only "environmental special interest groups" support the law, when in fact 66 percent of Americans polled favor protecting endangered species.5 A majority of Americans understand that you can't put a price on or limit actions designed to save a species from extinction -- but Congress and the President don't seem to.
What James "Snowball" Inhofe failed to mention was that two of his biggest contributors (or investors), the Koch Brothers and Murray Energy, stand to make huge profits from weakening the ESA. And giving authority over fragile species like butterflies, wolves, sage grouse, otters and bears to local governors may as well be called what it really is -- A Death Sentence. Just think of what would have happened to the Bald Eagle and the Gray Wolf if it weren't for the federal oversight -- we would only ever see them again in past photographs.
I expect these types of attacks on our planet from lawmakers like Inhofe. But President Obama claims to be an environmental champion and should know better. Our national treasures should not be brought to the brink of extinction so that extractive industries can make more profit. Please click here to tell the president and your senators to strengthen the ESA, not weaken it.
With your help and voice, we can keep the law designed to protect species from going extinct itself. Thank you for taking (environmental) action.
For the Critters,
Anthony and Environmental Action
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