January 29, 2023

House Committee Claims Advancement Toward ESA Amendments

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Some members of the House Natural Resources Committee are claiming at least 4 bills being sponsored are a step toward much needed Endangered Species Act reform. But is it really? The bills mostly call for “transparency” but no changes in how the Act is administered. Big deal!

The Endangered Species Act needs serious reforming in order to protect both humans, their rights and property and to protect all wildlife where practicable. Offering transparency so more people can more easily see who is screwing who does little to accomplish that. And true to the political mumbo-jumbo always being fed to the public, these bills are, “making headway to improve the ESA for both species and people.”

From the Western Livestock Journal Online:

“The four bills and their sponsors are as follows:

• H.R. 4315, 21st Century Endan gered Species Transparency Act; Doc Hastings (R-WA4);

• H.R. 4316, Endangered Species Recovery Transparency Act; Cynthia Lummis (R-WY at large);

• H.R. 4317, State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act; Randy Neugebauer (R-TX19); and

• H.R. 4318, Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act; Bill Huizenga (R-MI2).

All of the bills are tiny by usual governmental standards and overlap in content. Both H.R. 4315 and H.R. 4317 seek to amend the ESA to require the government to disclose information regarding listing decisions. H.R. 4315 would require that all information used in listing decisions be made public on the Internet, while H.R. 4317 would require the data used for listing decisions to be furnished to affected states, counties and tribes.

H.R. 4316 and H.R. 4318 focus on the lawsuits that often revolve around the ESA. Of the two, H.R. 4318 is the simplest, just seeking to amend the ESA to limit who can be awarded attorney fees from “any” to people and groups already listed in the U.S. Code. H.R. 4316, on the other hand, seeks to require the government to publish online the expenditures paid out to litigants regarding the ESA following each fiscal year. Though the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) is not directly mentioned, the language of the bill is reminiscent of bills attempting to amend the EAJA.”<<<Read More>>>