Trump Administration Sued for Delaying Protections to Endangered Bumblebees
News| | By Steven Lerner
The Trump administration devised their fair share of controversial orders during their first month, but one important ruling did not receive much notice — until a lawsuit was filed.
Last week, the Trump administration delayed a previous ruling that would have placed the rusty-patched bumblebee on the endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service adopted the original ruling under the Obama administration on January 11.
Bumblebees were once prominent through many regions of the country, but pesticides, habitat loss, and climate change have all contributed to their rapid population decline.
The bumblebees’ endangered species would have received federal protection once the 30-day waiting period after January 11 ended. However, the Trump administration halted the status change due to their newly imposed 60-day freeze on regulations. The administration hopes to thoroughly review the new policies before enacting them.
The American Farm Bureau Federation opposes the original protection status because they worry that farming prices might increase. However, most environmental organizations are siding against the Trump administration’s position.
On Wednesday, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC) sued the Trump administration for delaying the bumblebees endangered species protection until March.
“The Trump administration broke the law by blocking the rusty patched bumblebee from the endangered species list,” the Natural Resources Defense Council said in a statement, via the Washington Post. “The science is clear — this species is headed toward extinction, and soon. There is no legitimate reason to delay federal protections for this bee. Freezing protections for the rusty patched bumblebee without public notice and comment flies in the face of the democratic process.”
Despite the temporary delay, it would be a great challenge for the Trump administration to permanently ban the bumblebees endangered species from federal protection. The science behind the protection is incredibly strong, and there isn’t a concrete argument against the status change.