WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night during debate on the Senate Republicans’ budget resolution, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, led the charge to defeat a dangerous amendment that sought to remove protections for endangered species. Specifically, the amendment, offered by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) would lay the groundwork to prohibit federal protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for species found entirely within the borders of a single state.
As of 2017, roughly 77% of listed species, or over 1,000 species, were intrastate species whose ranges did not cross state borders. Denying these intrastate species protections would strip ESA protections from every listed plant or animal on the island of Hawaii, as well as protections for iconic animals like the polar bear and the Florida panther.
The amendment was defeated by a vote of 51-49, with every Democratic senator and three Republican senators voting against it.Video of Senator Carper’s remarks on the Senate floor can be found here.