BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts and California say they’ll go to court to fight the Trump administration’s overhaul of the Endangered Species Act.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Monday that they planned to sue. It came hours after the administration announced broad changes to the way the government would enforce endangered species protections.
Today, the Trump Administration announced a final rule that would gut the Endangered Species Act.
— Maura Healey (@MassAGO) August 12, 2019
The changes end blanket protections for animals newly deemed threatened and allow federal authorities for the first time to take into account the economic cost of protecting a particular species.
Both Democratic state prosecutors pointed to a United Nations report earlier this year warning that more than 1 million species globally are in danger of extinction.
“By gutting key components of the Endangered Species Act, one of our country’s most successful environmental laws, the Trump Administration is putting our most imperiled species and our vibrant local tourism and recreation industries at risk,” Healey said in a statement. “We will be taking the Administration to court to defend federal law and protect our rare animals, plants, and the environment.”
She said actions under the Endangered Species Act have increased Massachusetts piping plover populations by 500% since 1990.
Becerra told reporters that “this is not the time to go low, go slow or go backward.”
Several conservation groups also have promised court fights. The administration says the changes will reduce regulatory burdens while still protecting struggling species.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)