Top Line

The Interior Department is seeking to overturn the Trump administration’s interpretation of a policy banning the accidental killing of migratory birds, easing legal penalties for companies that engage in erroneous behavior.

important facts

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The department is seeking to restore the full scope of protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1918, which means companies will be prohibited from inadvertently killing birds through construction and oil drilling activities and if they do. Then they will have to face punishment.

The reversed policy would prohibit contingent taking, and use discretion in applying penalties in line with the agency’s practice prior to 2017, when the Trump administration relaxed rules against killing birds, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. Statement.

The 1918 law prohibits the unauthorized taking of more than 800 species of migratory birds, which the Trump administration in its interpretation of the law limits to willful acts.

Violating the law can result in a maximum jail term of six months and a fine of up to $15,000, and illegally selling killed birds is a felony. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

main background

The Washington Post cited an analysis by the National Audubon Society as saying that companies in the oil and gas industry were the biggest beneficiaries in the Trump-era regime. Of the 10 cases prosecuted under the 1918 law, nine were industry companies and were fined $6,500 per violation. The move to reinstate stricter regulations on unintentional killing of birds comes after the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced 23 species on Wednesday. Rare, including 11 birds, on top of declining bird populations.

against

Mallory Miller, vice president of government relations at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents small and medium-sized oil and gas companies, said reversing the Trump policy would “economically harm businesses that have no fault of their own.” is not” and creates a “situation where companies are set up for failure,” according to Washington Post.

what to see

The Fish and Wildlife Service will publish a new rule in the Federal Register on Thursday and collect public comments before the US Fish and Wildlife Service makes a final rule to repeal the Trump administration’s regulation, the department said in a statement. Statement.

Biden officials finalize rule making it harder to kill birds by overturning Trump (Washington Post)

Protected too late: US officials report more than 20 extinctions (new York Times)