The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Maggie Caldwell

Political Animals: 7 Ways Congress Is Trying to Destroy the Endangered Species Act

New feature highlights the industries and members of Congress working to undo the law


Yesterday, Earthjustice launched a special feature that shines a light on the tactics members of Congress are employing to weaken one of the most popular and effective conservation laws on the books - the Endangered Species Act. Attacks on environmental laws have been already been a focus in the 114th Congress since it convened in January, with an onslaught of continued attacks expected. Political Animals: 7 Ways Congress is Trying to Destroy the Endangered Species Act explains some of the main methods anti-conservation politicians are using to try to erode the efficacy of the act.

Political Animals connects the dots between industries including oil & gas, mining, commercial agriculture, and other industries that see the Endangered Species Act as a roadblock to further profit, and the members of Congress who hold the power to undo aspects of the law. The feature uses political cartoons to show the absurdity of some of these arguments against species protections, but also underscores the real threat these members of Congress present to conservation.

The methods include:

*Establishing arbitrary land boundaries where species protections would not apply

*Introducing bills under the guise of drought relief to roll back environmental safeguards

*Posing limitations on citizens' ability to help enforce the act

*Declaring open season on individual species by blocking federal protections or denying existing protections

*And more...

"More than 80 percent of American people support the Endangered Species Act, a law that has had remarkable successes in bringing species like the bald eagle and the gray whale back from the brink of extinction," said Marjorie Mulhall, legislative counsel at Earthjustice. "We can't let this bedrock environmental law and all the species it protects be subjected to death by a thousand cuts."

The feature showcases original cartoons by National Newspaper Association award-winning editorial cartoonist Chris OBrion. More information about the artist is available here.

Explore the feature:

Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. We bring about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations, coalitions and communities.