David Bernhardt, who has served in a variety of senior positions in the Interior Department, was confirmed as secretary by the Senate on Thursday, a victory for cattle producers, energy companies and other interests who see him as an ally on public land management and endangered species regulation.
If Democrats win control of the House, U.S. agriculture will face a very different set of committee leaders and approaches to regulatory policy than it has since the chamber has been under GOP control.
Progressive groups pushing for reforms to farm policy and opposed to nutrition assistance cuts and environmental provisions in the House-passed farm bill say Congress would be better passing no new legislation at all unless it’s similar to the bipartisan Senate version.
States need to play a larger role in protecting and recovering endangered species, the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee said at a hearing Wednesday that looked at federal, state and local efforts to collaborate on wildlife conservation.
Far-reaching proposals designed to clarify regulations under the Endangered Species Act are getting solid support from industry and scathing criticism from environmental groups concerned that the changes would imperil at-risk wildlife.
Sweeping proposals released by the Trump administration Thursday to change the way the government implements the Endangered Species Act provoked fairly predictable reactions – environmental groups blasted them, and industry groups welcomed them.