Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Stop Senator Rand Paul from destroying the Endangered Species Act.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul is taking a high-profile approach to killing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by making it part of his run for President of the United States. Paul has proposed removing 94 percent of the endangered species currently on the list, including grizzly bears, wolves and sea otters. Paul’s legislation would guarantee this by automatically removing all protections for any listed species after it’s been on the list for five years whether or not it demonstrated recovery.
Paul claims the Endangered Species Act never accomplished any of its goals, never recovered threatened or endangered species and deserves to be defunded. The truth is exactly the opposite. In fact, 98 percent of all species fortunate enough to get listed have been brought back from near extinction. Paul even claims the Endangered Species Act has hurt species. What he’s really doing is complaining on behalf of polluters who were sued after an endangered species got listed. The largest percentage of endangered species forage on federal lands where drillers and frackers see these struggling species as barriers to resource exploitation and would just as soon eliminate them.
Most dangerous to our system of government, Rand Paul’s legislation would upend our democratic system by empowering state governors to unilaterally overrule any federal protections for any species located in their state. Consider the effect this legislation could have if/when the governor is an anti-environmentalist intent on development at any cost to the environment.
Clearly, the purpose of Paul’s legislation is to destroy the ESA and turn our democracy upside down in the process. We can’t let either of those things happen. Before the ESA was created, our national symbol, the bald eagle, was all but eliminated in the continental United States. We must protect the ESA which has been so critical in saving so many endangered species over the years. Obama shouldn’t wait to veto Rand Paul’s legislation if/when it reaches his desk. He should speak out now about what’s wrong with this legislation and what’s right about the ESA.
Dear President Obama,
Rand Paul’s attempt to destroy the Endangered Species Act must be stopped. Minus the ESA, countless species would have been allowed to pass into extinction, including the bald eagle, our national symbol. Though Paul has claimed that the ESA has accomplished nothing, the truth is the exact opposite. Since its creation in 1973, the ESA has saved 98 percent of all species that made it onto the list. That alone should guarantee the survival of this legislation. Instead, it’s never been under such relentless attack.
Rand Paul’s legislation is especially disturbing because it turns our system upside down by giving governors the power to overrule the federal government about species protection in their state. This is precisely the opposite of how our system is supposed to work. It will make the most vulnerable, even more vulnerable. There is no good reason to destroy the ESA which has accomplished so much. It must be defended and protected now. Don’t wait to veto this. Speak out about what’s wrong with Rand Paul’s legislation and what’s right about the ESA.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Medill DC