A decision by the Trump administration to delay protections of a bee is creating a legal buzz.
The rusty patched bumblebee was once common across the Midwest and Northeast but is now at risk of going extinct. The Obama administration granted the bee endangered-species status in early January. That status was set to take effect Feb. 10, but the Trump administration on that day announced it would delay listing the bee to March 21.
On Tuesday, the Natural Resources Defense Council sued the Interior Department, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the acting heads of both agencies in federal court in Manhattan, asking a judge to undo the delay. The group argues that the Trump administration’s decision was made in violation of a law governing the issuance of federal rules and without a valid explanation.
Some environmentalists fear the delay is a prelude to blocking protections for the rusty-patched bumblebee altogether. “We don’t think this is just a freeze,” said Rebecca Riley, a senior attorney for the NRDC. “It’s an opportunity for the administration to reconsider and perhaps revoke the decision. That’s the whole point of the freeze.”
I am not going to discuss the plight of bumblebees other than admit that the plight of bees, in general, is a concern. Pollination is a big problem for farmers.
Instead, I will ask a simple question: If Obama gave a damn about the rusty-patched bumblebee, why did he wait until the last moment to put the burden on Trump?
The answer is obvious: Politics are more important to Obama than the bees he allegedly wanted to protect.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock