Environmentalist seek to use small butterfly to delay progress on Border Security Wall
A small butterfly native to southern California and northwestern Mexico could be threatened by President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.
The Quino checkerspot butterfly was once common to the area but has seen its habitat eroded over the past century and is now listed as an endangered species, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. It’s one of the species listed in a lawsuit brought against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by the center and other environmental groups over the wall.
Environmentalists claim the butterfly and a number of other species, including the Riverside fairy shrimp and the Pacific pocket mouse, could be in trouble if the Trump administration goes through with its plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“It really can’t fly above around 15 feet above the ground,” J.P. Rose, a staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, told ABC affiliate KGTV in San Diego. “So if you put in a 30- to 40-foot wall along the border, the ability of it to migrate from northern Mexico to the U.S. is going to be impossible.”
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The lawsuit is challenging DHS’s ability to waive environment laws requiring review before the wall is built. But the DHS is arguing that it is within its right to issue the waivers.
According to The Associated Press, the Trump administration has issued three such waivers since August of last, two to build barriers in parts of California and one in part of New Mexico.
Recently the Department of Homeland Security issued a waiver citing its authority under a 2005 law to set aside any laws and regulations when necessary for border infrastructure.
“While the waiver eliminates DHS’s obligation to comply with various laws with respect to covered projects, the department remains committed to environmental stewardship with respect to these projects,” it said. “DHS has been coordinating and consulting — and intends to continue doing so — with other federal and state resource agencies to ensure impacts to the environment, wildlife, and cultural and historic artifacts are analyzed and minimized, to the extent possible.”
Similar environmental concerns sought to halt the construction of the Alaska Pipeline years ago. The arguments against the pipeline included constant oil spills due to earthquakes and other acts of nature, disruption to the lives of native populations in Alaska, endangerment of fish, and threats to wildlife, such as elk, polar bears, and moose.
The Obama administration blocked the Keystone pipeline with Obama saying “how Keystone impacted greenhouse gas emissions would affect our decision,” lamenting “we’re already seeing severe weather patterns increase.” Sounds like he got the quote directly from Al Gore or the Sierra Club. The wall will be built the only thing the environmental objections do is delay progress. This is what the Socialist agenda of environmentalism is all about, delaying progress.