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Fri Nov 27, 2020, 11:19 AM

Trump officials move to relax rules on killing birds

Source: Washington Post

Climate and Environment

Trump officials move to relax rules on killing birds

Overhaul of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act would not hold firms liable for ‘incidentally’ causing scores of bird deaths

By Juliet Eilperin and Sarah Kaplan
November 27, 2020 at 10:33 a.m. EST

The Trump administration published an analysis Friday finding that its rule easing companies’ liability for killing birds would not cause significant environmental harm, clearing the way for it to finalize a major rollback before the president’s term ends on Jan. 20.

The administration, which is racing to lock in a series of regulatory changes before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, can now publish a final rule modifying the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s interpretation of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act as soon as Dec. 28. For three years, officials at the Interior Department have sought to shield energy companies, construction firms, and land developers from prosecution if their operations 'incidentally" kill birds, weakening protections under the law.

The new analysis suggests that all three alternatives — including codifying the administration’s narrower interpretation into law or returning to the historic definition that holds firms liable for accidental bird deaths — will “have incremental effects on current environmental conditions.” It identifies scaling back the rule as its “preferred alternative,” and says including accidental deaths “would be inconsistent with the Department’s current view of the law.”

The analysis suggests, however, that finalizing the rule would likely have “negative effects” on migratory birds because industry would have less of an incentive to adopt precautions to prevent birds from becoming ensnared in development projects.

{snip}

Juliet Eilperin
Juliet Eilperin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning senior national affairs correspondent for The Washington Post, covering environmental and energy policy. She has written two books, "Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks" and "Fight Club Politics: How Partisanship is Poisoning the House of Representatives." Follow https://twitter.com/eilperin

Sarah Kaplan
Sarah Kaplan is a climate reporter covering humanity's response to a warming world. She previously reported on Earth science and the universe. Follow https://twitter.com/sarahkaplan48

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/11/27/migratory-bird-treaty-act/



David Fahrenthold Retweeted

https://twitter.com/Fahrenthold

BREAKING: Three days after Trump pardoned a turkey, and a day after many Americans dined on one, the Trump administration took a key step to weaken a century-old law holding industry and individuals liable for killing birds. With
@sarahkaplan48


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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Trump officials move to relax rules on killing birds (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 27 OP
jayfish Nov 27 #1
mr_lebowski Nov 27 #2
SpankMe Nov 27 #8
sarge43 Nov 27 #10
truthisfreedom Nov 27 #12
sarge43 Nov 27 #13
SpankMe Nov 27 #9
dalton99a Nov 27 #4
Bayard Nov 27 #3
LineReply -
Bigredhunk Nov 27 #5
jeffreyi Nov 27 #6
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 27 #7
dhill926 Nov 27 #11
DBoon Nov 27 #14
Nitram Nov 27 #15
Roisin Ni Fiachra Nov 28 #16
ck4829 Nov 30 #17


Response to jayfish (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 11:39 AM

2. It is an interesting conundrum I find myself in on this because I support Wind Power ...

but it does kill birds. Including migratory birds protected by the treaty.

Not as dramatically as Trump made it sound, but it does happen.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 04:36 PM

8. Don't worry about it

If you Google for bird death statistics you'll see that many orders of magnitude more birds are killed worldwide by domestic pet cats and by other birds of prey than by windmills. And technologies are emerging that are reducing the bird deaths via windmills.

It's probably a fair tradeoff in the final analysis.

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Response to SpankMe (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 05:16 PM

10. Cats v. wind turbines, bird deaths. US Fish & Wildlife Service

Cats: 2,400,000,000

Wind turbines: 234,012

https://www.fws.gov/birds/bird-enthusiasts/threats-to-birds.php

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Response to sarge43 (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 06:32 PM

12. 45's buildings kill more birds than turbines.

Tall glass buildings are a huge bird hazard.

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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 07:22 PM

13. Even windows or doors can be a hazard

Even in winter, we keep the outside screen doors on the patio doors so the birds won't crash into the glass. They bounce off the screens.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #2)


Response to jayfish (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 11:42 AM

4. +1. Trump loves animals

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 11:40 AM

3. Oil spills

Millions of birds affected. Laws should be strengthened, not relaxed!


?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 02:18 PM

6. Good for the pitbull environmental organizations bottom line

May they sue these bastards into oblivion. I know I am sending another donation.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 03:50 PM

7. Here's how to find that document

Trump administration proceeds with rollback of bird protections despite objections of scientists, environmentalists

BY CELINE CASTRONUOVO - 11/27/20 02:37 PM EST

The Trump administration on Friday advanced its plans to cut federal regulation protections for birds despite criticisms from scientists and former federal officials that the move will likely be severely detrimental to the U.S. bird population.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday released its Final Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed change to the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) that would greatly limit federal authority to prosecute industries for practices that kill migratory birds.

The act was first passed “to stop the unregulated killing of migratory birds,” according to Friday’s report. Under the legislation, the Fish and Wildlife Service regulates the “taking” of migratory birds, which includes “to pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, collect, or attempt to hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect.”

The proposed change seeks to clarify the scope of the definition, although many have pointed out that the change will scale back federal prosecution authority for the threats birds face from industry, including electrocution on power lines, wind turbines that knock them from the air and oil field waste pits where landing birds can die in toxic water.

{snip}

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 05:45 PM

11. just another way to cause death and destruction on his way out....

orange piece of shit...

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 07:48 PM

14. Can we get immunity from incidentally killing ...

... executives of these energy companies, construction firms, and land developer companies?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 09:57 PM

15. Does this mean Trump regrets the turkey pardon?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Nov 28, 2020, 09:47 AM

16. Mother Nature is already dealing with Trump's deliberate destruction of the planet.

He's already been driven completely insane by his election loss. He is a loser, and his future is a future of nothing but continuous losing.

"Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad."

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Nov 30, 2020, 07:08 AM

17. Gross.

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