by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As Appearing in the Daily Sentinel
How we long for the good old days! That is the tone of some environmental industry leaders who are screaming bloody murder (literally, not figuratively) about the Interior Department’s interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
One Washington Post columnist carped that “cruelty without consequence” is “the heart of the Trump era.” The new rule, she wrote, is “harmful to the weak… but also to the strong who, in the exercise of cruelty, become less humane, less human.”
To be clear, for these advocates the “good old days” were from Jan. 10 to Feb. 6, 2017. That is how long a previous rule from the Department’s lawyer was in effect, 27 days. The Solicitor General wrote something called “Opinion M-37041,” which radically changed the way federal officials should enforce the migratory bird law. Issued just 10 days before the Obama administration ended, it was suspended less than a month later, pending review by the new administration. That review is now complete, and the conclusion is that Opinion M-37041 was inconsistent with the law.