Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Why These Rare Species Are Targeted by the GOP


While fights over convention rules and the authenticity of Melania Trump’s speech have dominated the headlines, this week's Republic National Convention is also the party’s time to debate and approve a new platform. And this year, among discussion of immigration, terrorism, and the economy is a section on the environment and endangered species.

The GOP's platform calls out three species in particular: the sage-grouse, lesser prairie-chicken, and the gray wolf, saying:

"There is certainly a need to protect certain species threatened worldwide with extinction. However, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) should not include species such as gray wolves and other species if these species exist elsewhere in healthy numbers in another state or country."

The main objection to species conservation is that it might cost money in the short term and limit property rights. "To upset the economic viability of an area with an unneeded designation costs jobs and hurts local communities," the statement says. (Check out our voter guide on climate and energy.)
The platform adds, "over the last few decades, the ESA has stunted economic development, halted the construction of projects, burdened landowners, and has been used to pursue policy goals inconsistent with the ESA—all with little to no success in the actual recovery of species."

But there are over 2,200 species listed by the ESA. The three singled out in the GOP platform embody the conservative arguments against protections.

No comments: