"Bernhardt Defends Bird Treaty Rule Amid Verbal Combat in Senate"

"Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, visibly shaking and combative during a Senate hearing Wednesday, defended the Interior Department’s plan to re-interpret the Migratory Bird Treaty Act so that oil companies would not be fined for killing birds due to oil spills.

Sparring with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bernhardt said during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee budget hearing that Interior will proceed with the reinterpretation regardless of objections from Congress. The proposed rule codifies a 2017 Interior solicitor’s opinion that said only intentional killings can be prosecuted under the MBTA.

Van Hollen said the reinterpretation of the MBTA would have made it impossible for BP to have been fined $100 million for bird deaths resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico."

Bobby Magill reports for Bloomberg Environment March 4, 2020.

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 03/05/2020