One thing most of us can agree on is that when possible, we should protect animals.
After all, they’ve been existing without us interfering heavily in their environment for millions of years. As our technology advances, we become more and more of a threat to them, so placing limits on what we find acceptable is the humane thing to do. While we hear a lot about polar bears and other mammals who are affected by our actions, we hear less about birds.
Birds are highly impacted by the things we do in the air, but the Trump administration just took away a key protection that’s saved countless lives.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act was implemented back in 1918 to prevent the killing of birds in large numbers. Under previous interpretations of the law since the 1970s, birds killed in oil spills or by wind farms would result in fines for the corporations. This encouraged the companies to find ways to prevent loss of life.
Under the Trump administration’s new interpretation of the law, passed down in late 2017, now fines will only be issued for birds killed by intentional hunting. Critics fear that oil drilling, wind power, and communications towers will now disregard features implemented to protect birds.
The Environmental Protection Agency often worked with companies to come up with solutions to problems that killed birds. Communications towers began using flashing lights, and fishing boats weighted their nets. These regulations may have cost a small amount but they saved lives.
During the Obama administration, Duke Energy and PacifiCorp Energy were both prosecuted under this act after they failed to implement safety measures at their wind energy farms. Now, neither would be held liable.
Almost every Interior Department official since the 1970s, across party lines, has signed a letter denouncing the decision. “This legal opinion is contrary to the long-standing interpretation by every administration (Republican and Democrat) since at least the 1970s, who held that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act strictly prohibits the unregulated killing of birds,” the letter states.
The Trump administration, however, is standing by its decision, calling the way the law had been interpreted in the past “totalitarian.” It seems now we’ll have to rely on companies to just do the right thing without having to suffer any financial penalties. What could possibly go wrong?
(via Mother Jones)
It’s sad that the Environmental Protection Agency continues to be undermined in such a way. Here’s hoping this decision will be reversed in order to keep our wildlife safe.
VIA : http://www.viralnova.com