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It saved America’s Bald Eagle. Now Trump will strangle Endangered Species Act so big oil can make more money

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“It’s a gift to industry, and it’s illegal,” one environmental group says.

Nearly since the dawn of the republic, America’s Bald Eagle has been featured on many official logos of the U.S. government, including 1792’s Great Seal of the United States. It also appears on the Seal of the President of the United States. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 saved the Bald Eagle from extinction. It’s also saved the Grizzly Bear, the peregrine falcon, the manatee, the humpback whale, and other animals  from extinction. It has a 99% success rate.

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A 1978 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found: “It is clear from the Act’s legislative history that Congress intended to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction—whatever the cost.”

The Trump administration has a different idea.

President Trump is about to strangle the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to allow Big Oil to make even more money.

Federal and state governments in the U.S. handed almost $30 billion to the oil, gas, and coal industry between 2015 and 2016, and gave consumers nearly $15 billion to help pay their fuel costs, The Guardian reports. During that same cycle, “oil, gas, and coal companies spent $354 million in campaign contributions and lobbying,” 88% of which went to GOP lawmakers.

On Monday The New York Times reported Trump will “change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law.”

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The changes could clear the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development in areas where protected species live. The new rules will make it harder to consider the effects of climate change on wildlife when deciding whether a given species warrants protection. They would most likely shrink critical habitats and, for the first time, allow economic factors to be taken into account when making determinations.

Environmental are calling the move “a disaster for imperiled wildlife at a time when the United Nations has warned that human pressures are poised to drive one million species into extinction and that protecting land and biodiversity is criticalto keep greenhouse gas emissions in check,” according to The Times.

“This effort to gut protections for endangered and threatened species has the same two features of most Trump administration actions: It’s a gift to industry, and it’s illegal,” says Drew Caputo, vice president of litigation for lands, wildlife and oceans at the nonprofit Earthjustice, according to HuffPost. “We’ll see the Trump administration in court about it.”

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Trump already has a bad relationship with the Bald Eagle, at least this one, during a TIME magazine photo shoot.


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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