Eyes on Washington week ending 07.28.17

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Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approves S 1514 by a 14 to 7 vote

The Hunting Heritage and Environmental Legacy Preservation (HELP) for Wildlife Act (S 1514), was passed by the committee by a vote of 14 to 7 with broad bipartisan support. Republican Senator John Barrasso, chairman of the committee stated:

“The bill puts an end to the Endangered Species Act listing of the gray wolf in Wyoming and the Great Lakes, which will free up the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to redirect resources that were being spent on the already fully-recovered gray wolf to other species that are truly in need.”

However, controversial language remains in the bill such as provisions that blocks judicial review of the Wyoming gray wolf delisting. An amendment to remove the bill’s gray wolf provisions, proposed by Democratic Senator Tom Carper failed on a narrow 11-10 vote. “I continue to believe that congressional intervention is not the best path forward and I would urge us not to make it a habit,” Carper said.

The committee approved an amendment to the bill raised by Republican Senator Dan Sullivan that will allow the importation of polar bear trophies taken from legal hunts in Canada prior to ESA protections.

After markups the bill will be sent to the Senate floor most likely after the August recess. A comparable bill has not been introduced in the House.

Endangered Species Act

Join our call to action to protect and defend the ESA! Tell Congress to protect the ESA not destroy it!
Contact the U.S. House of Representatives at www.house.gov and U.S. Senate at www.senate.gov

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New study suggests setting a global temperature average depends on baseline date

A goal of The Paris Agreement is to reduce carbon emissions and keep global temperature averages from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius. In order to track the world’s progress to the 2-degree threshold, climate scientists use a temperature baseline set in the late 1800s.

But a new study, Importance of the pre-industrial baseline for likelihood of exceeding Paris goals, published on July 24th in Nature Climate Change, finds this baseline measurement may not actually represent the global temperature average prior to the beginning of human-caused warming. The authors say an older baseline would be more accurate.

If correct, the researchers’ findings mean the world has already warmed as much as 0.2 degrees Celsius over previous estimates and as a result 40 percent less carbon would need to be burned to reach current emissions reduction targets.

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