Interior combatant confirmed to department

Endangered Species Act opposer Susan Combs officially takes role as assistant secretary after long delay.


Susan Combs, speaking at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing in 2017.

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For nearly two years, Susan Combs has served in an acting capacity as the temporary assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks for the Trump administration’s Interior Department. In this role, Combs has had oversight of the Endangered Species Act, which she has long opposed. As comptroller of Texas, she consistently fought endangered species protections, favoring oil and gas industries and once comparing newly listed species to “incoming Scud missiles,” according to the Texas Observer. (“Fish and Wildlife reconsiders protections for rare species,” HCN, 4/16/18).

On June 5, nearly two years after she was first appointed to a federal office by President Trump, Combs was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Interior Department’s assistant secretary for policy, management and budget. Under Trump, Interior has rolled back Endangered Species Act protections and proposed a full revision of the act, which would make it harder for species to be listed and would also weaken protections for critical habitat.

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