The Endangered Species Act is another American institution trashed by Trump.
Passed during the Richard Nixon administration, the act showed that the country cared as much about its natural heritage as it did about economic exploitation. The act protected animals like the bald eagle and Florida alligator that are part of our national identity.
Trump doesn't care. George W. Bush sought to weaken the act, but it survived. The Reagan administration and its anti-governmental philosophy didn't overturn the law. Now the Trump administration will let developers have their way in destroying natural habitat.
As CNN reported, Trump had already tossed aside EPA scientists in allowing an oil and copper mine at Bristol Bay in Alaska. Environmentalists fear the Pebble Mine will destroy the bay's salmon. Trump apparently personally approved the mine after a meeting with Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who cares nothing about his state's natural resources.
The EPA is another Nixon administration legacy that Trump is gutting. The GOP once listed conservation as one of its cornerstones. Beginning with Reagan, the party of Theodore Roosevelt has boosted mining, oil, natural gas and construction over the environment.
But the GOP never fully realized its anti-environmental agenda. It still when politically necessary followed voters' desire to preserve natural areas.
Now, with Trump, the GOP is fulfilling its dream to drill in every natural area, drain every wetland, concrete over every forest and meadow.
The new Endangered Species Act regulations will let developers for the first time present alleged "economic benefits" of a project. To Trump and his cronies, natural habitats have no economic benefits. The economic benefits will be what a developer says they are. That means whatever profits can be squeezed from a place where wildlife once thrived.