March 3, 2009
House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings released the following statement regarding the Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service about a project’s potential impact on endangered plants and wildlife:
“Our country is in the midst of a terrible economic recession and the federal government should not be taking actions that could stall vital transportation, infrastructure and energy projects that create new jobs. Shovel-ready projects in the trillion-dollar stimulus law could be delayed or halted by this action.
“We all agree on the need to protect endangered species, but the intent of the Endangered Species Act was never to tie up projects, such as the construction of new highways, in endless bureaucratic regulations and lawsuits by special interest groups. Overturning this rule will take resources away from honest recovery efforts and create roadblocks for projects that will grow our economy. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the existing rule has caused harm to any listed species and federal agencies are still responsible for ensuring that their actions do not cause harm.
“Democrat leaders have slipped dangerous language into the $410 billion spending bill to withdraw two ESA rules without any public input or public comment period. This type of secret, backdoor maneuver is not how the public expects their government to operate and I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to support an amendment striking the provision from the bill.”
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