Wild Birds Will Be Protected Once Again, As U.S. Resumes Enforcing Rules On Companies

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BILLINGS, Mont. — The Biden administration said Wednesday it will draft rules to govern the killing of wild birds by industry and resume enforcement actions against companies responsible for deaths that could have been prevented, a longstanding practice that ended under President Donald Trump . The move came as North American bird numbers have plummeted drastically in recent decades. That decline was punctuated by news Wednesday that the famed ivory-billed woodpecker and 22 other species of flora and fauna have gone extinct . Conservation groups, which have urged President Joe Biden to take stronger action to protect wildlife, said the planned rules were urgently needed to hold companies accountable for bird deaths. But the administration got immediate pushback from the oil industry, which has been subject to some of the most high-profile prosecutions under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Most notable was a $100 million settlement by energy company BP, after government investigators concluded the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill killed about 100,000 birds. The Trump administration ended enforcement against companies for accidental bird deaths in 2017, following pressure from oil companies, utilities and other industries. The Independent Petroleum Association of America said resuming prosecutions would harm businesses […]

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