WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today released the following statement in response to plans by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to roll back Trump administration efforts to undermine the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA):
“Threats like climate change are endangering wildlife species and their habitats with each passing day, so we must move quickly to strengthen our conservation efforts and protect migratory bird species. We have a moral responsibility to be stewards of our environment, and the Biden administration’s action today is a welcome step forward in that effort,” said Carper. “In Delaware, we know firsthand that smart conservation policy is a boon for our economy and our communities, as well. Migratory birds are a cornerstone of the First State’s ecotourism industry, and I want to make sure that these special creatures continue to thrive for generations to come, both in Delaware and across our nation.”
On March 20, 2020, Senator Carper led 22 of his colleagues in a letter asking then-Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary David Bernhardt to reverse course on its proposed rule on the MBTA, outlining concerns about the 45-day comment period and the devastating impacts that could come with removing penalties for companies that incidentally kill birds.
On July 15, 2020, Senator Carper and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) led a group of 20 of their colleagues in a letter to urge Secretary Bernhardt to reverse course on the MTBA rule, citing concerns with the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the rule.
On October 15, 2020, Senator Carper, Senator Van Hollen, and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) led 14 of their colleagues in a letter urging Secretary Bernhardt to rescind the proposed rule change after the Southern District of New York ruled the 2017 M-Opinion, which the new rule is based on, to be unlawful.
On February 4, 2021, Senator Carper applauded the decision by the Department of Interior to delay implementation of the Trump Administration’s rule, urging DOI to restore the MBTA.