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July 27, 2022
By David Wojick
The Virginia wind-versus-whales story has taken a turn for the worse. Worse for the severely endangered Right Whales that is. My research has found what may be some really bad news. Meet Tethys. Not the real Tethys, the mythical Greek titaness of the sea, but DOE’s center for reporting research on the environmental impact of energy technology on sea life, including whales. This is the science side of DOE (where I used to work), not the Ocean Energy development side. Tethys has some profoundly...
September 29, 2022
By H. Sterling Burnett
...s, and the whales themselves, could be coming to an end soon, and Democrats, including the Biden administration, are to blame. There are only approximately 300 NARWs alive today. Various federal laws are supposed to protect the whales. The Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, for example, forbid activities that take, seriously harm, or harass the whales or force them out of their critical habitat. If the state of Virginia, Dominion Energy, and the Biden administration ha...
July 15, 2022
By David Wojick
..., not building or operating during migration might be a viable mitigation action. Depending on how long a period that is, it might significantly change the economics of OSW. In addition to NEPA, these whales are supposedly protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. I say supposedly because it appears that the proper analyses are not being done. There is already litigation along these lines for a smaller OSW array in New England. See
September 27, 2022
By James Taylor, David T. Stevenson, Jim Lakely
...ection measures for the North Atlantic right whale immediately, this species is almost certainly headed toward extinction,” said David Stevenson, president of ACOP. “With only a little more than 300 individual right whales alive today, this endangered species is in dire need of protection, and the Virginia Wind Project lies directly in their annual migration path. The project will require extensive daily maintenance by multiple service ships, and the potential for whale fatalities due to ship st...
October 22, 2019
By H. Sterling Burnett
Environmental socialists’ knee-jerk reactions to regulatory changes the Trump administration implemented to the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA) were as predictable as they were misguided. Claiming the Trump administration violated the law and gutted endangered species protections, several environmental groups are suing the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to overturn the rule changes. Based on environmentalists’ reactions, you’d think the ESA had a glowing track record of success in br...
September 19, 2019
By H. Sterling Burnett, Daren Bakst
The endangered species act has been a costly failure, with very few species being recovered in the 46 years since it was enacted. The Trump administration issued regulations to better distinguish between the levels of protection required for endangered and threatened species, and to ensure that habitat designated as critical for species recovery actually be viable habitat for the species. 
February 24, 2020
By H. Sterling Burnett
Over time, federal agencies have used the vagueness of the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to expand their authority beyond legitimate bounds over private lives and property. The Trump administration has offered reforms to limit these laws and make it transparent what types of actions violate them. This will provide property owners a clearer understanding of what uses they can put their properties too without violating the law, and specify to burea...
October 4, 2018
By H. Sterling Burnett, Tim Benson
The 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been a costly fiasco. It has failed to protect or help revive species at risk of extinction. However, the ESA has allowed the government to go wild, stealing Americans’ property and blocking economic development. To remedy this ongoing misuse of the ESA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced a series of joint policy reforms with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries). These...
September 18, 2018
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced a series of policy reforms altering how it fosters species recovery under the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA), to reduce conflict between species and people while enhancing species recovery. Dual Protections FWS proposed several rule changes on July 19 as part of a larger effort by the administration of President Donald Trump to have endangered species policy better account for the impact of species protection on peoples’ property rights an...
July 31, 2018
By H. Sterling Burnett
Radical environmentalists use the Endangered Species Act (ESA) not to protect species but regulate land use. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed reforms to the Endangered Species Act are modest and will not change the punitive nature of the ESA – and thus will continue to encourage landowners to destroy habitats to avoid attracting endangered and threatened species. To better protect endangered species, the ESA must cease to penalize good behavior and instead provide incentives and re...