Five bills that would effectively eliminate federal protection for endangered species are scheduled for markup in the House Natural Resources Committee starting today.
The common thread of the proposed legislative package is to supplant scientific decision-making in favor of political calculations to determine whether a species should be saved, and to undercut citizens’ ability to enforce the law.
The following is a statement from Nora Apter, a legislative advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“House Republicans have declared open season on endangered species with this package of bills. The Endangered Species Act has saved more than 99 percent of species under its care from extinction. The House should heed this political gem: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
House Republicans plan to mark up two other bills that would run roughshod over environmental protections: the SHARE Act and the anti-NEPA Native American Energy Act (See this blog for more: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/nora-apter/gop-runs-roughshod-over-democratic-environmental-safeguards)
The Endangered Species Act-related bills expected to be marked up include:
H.R. 424 “Gray Wolf State Management Act”: Blocks federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the Great Lakes states and Wyoming.
H.R. 717 “Listing Reform Act”: Puts a price on species conservation by enabling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to deny protections to eligible species if there is an economic impact.
H.R. 1274 “State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act”: Subverts the Endangered Species Act’s science-based listing process by allowing any information provided by states, tribes, or counties to constitute “best available science.”
H.R. 2603 “Saving America’s Endangered Species Act”: Strips Endangered Species Act protections for non-native species within the U.S.
H.R. 3131 “Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act”: Threatens to undercut citizen engagement and enforcement of the Endangered Species Act by impeding upon citizens’ ability to obtain counsel and challenge illegal government actions.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.