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Photo: Andrew Cabllero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration released an analysis on Friday finding that its proposed rule easing companies’ liability for killing birds would not cause any substantial environmental harm, the Washington Post first reported.

Why it matters: As President Trump moves to lock in various regulatory changes before President-elect Biden is inaugurated, this analysis is a key step toward finalizing rules that allow businesses to avoid fines for accidentally killing migratory birds.

Details: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes in its analysis a new rule that will modify its interpretation of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act — which protects birds from industrial and other threats — so that only intentional killings result in fines.

  • Previous administrations have used the law to fine companies for accidentally killing migratory birds, known as "incidental take."
  • For decades, prosecutors have sought fines of up to $15,000 per bird for accidental deaths, according to the Post.

Reality check via the Post: "The analysis suggests, however, that finalizing the rule would 'likely result in increased bird mortality' because companies would have less of an incentive to adopt precautions to prevent them from becoming ensnared or colliding with their operations."

What to watch: According to Bloomberg Law, legal experts expect the incoming Biden administration to explore ways to reverse the rule, scheduled to be finalized as early as Dec. 28.

Go deeper

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

Apple's quarterly sales top $100 billion for first time

Credit: Apple

Spurred by strong sales of the latest iPhones, Apple reported it took in a record $111 billion in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, as the company crushed expectations.

Why it matters: The move showed even a pandemic didn't dull demand for Apple's latest smartphones.