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Oversight Hearing on "Taxpayer-Funded Litigation: Benefitting Lawyers and Harming Species, Jobs and Schools"
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 10:00 AM
Full Committee
1324 Longworth House Office Building


COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
10:00 a.m.

OVERSIGHT HEARING ON:

  • "Taxpayer-Funded Litigation: Benefitting Lawyers and Harming Species, Jobs and Schools"

OPENING STATEMENT:

The Honorable Doc Hastings
Chairman

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I

The Honorable Jeff Sessions
United States Senator
Alabama

The Honorable Cynthia Lummis
Member, House of Representatives
Wyoming (At - Large)

Panel II

The Honorable Jerry Patterson
Commissioner
Texas General Land Office
Austin, Texas

John Stokes
Facilities Development Project Coordinator
San Diego Unified School District
San Diego, California
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Daniel Rohlf
Professor
Lewis and Clark Law School
Portland, Oregon
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Kent Holsinger
Attorney
Holsinger Law
Denver, Colorado
(Truth in Testimony Form)

BACKGROUND:

This hearing follows a number of transparency request letters (3/19/12) and (5/31/12) sent by Chairman Hastings to help determine the cost and impact of taxpayer-funded attorneys fees and time spent on Endangered Species Act (ESA) litigation. The goal of the ESA is to conserve key domestic species, yet it's increasingly being used by special interest groups to file lawsuits – or file petitions threatening lawsuits – to drive federal agencies to make agenda-driven decisions not based on verifiable data or sound science or priority, but to block economic and job-creating activities. With a one percent recovery rate, and hundreds of more species being forced onto the ESA list, federal taxpayers and existing endangered species deserve better. Transparency and accountability are helping shed light on how ESA is being abused by litigation and the facts distorted by advocacy groups.

Other Hearings in the Series:

  • Hearing - Full Committee Oversight Hearing on "The Impact of Catastrophic Forest Fires and Litigation on People and Endangered Species: Time for Rational Management of our Nation's Forests" (7/24/2012)

  • Hearing - Full Committee Oversight Hearing on "The Endangered Species Act: How Litigation is Costing Jobs and Impeding True Recovery Efforts (12/6/2011)

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