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Hastings: Court Misses the Mark on ESA Settlement Ruling


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 1, 2014 - House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) issued the following statement regarding the federal court ruling upholding the Obama Administration’s closed-door Endangered Species Act (ESA) settlement agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians:

I’m disappointed with today’s court ruling that upholds the Administration’s mega-settlement with litigious environmental groups to make listing decisions for hundreds of species behind closed-doors and in a rushed, arbitrary time-frame.  Over 160 new species have already been added to the list just since these settlements.  In many cases, such as the White Bluffs Bladderpod in my district, or in the Lesser Prairie Chicken listed just last week, legitimate concerns have been raised about the science or the lack of state or local government involvement. The potential listings of even more species, including the Greater Sage Grouse, could have devastating job and economic impacts across the entire country.  Listing decisions should be made in an open, transparent manner and based on the best available science and data.  This decision today proves even more why common sense legislation to curb these lawsuits and closed-door settlement agreements will do more to aid endangered species than lawyers and courtrooms.  That’s why I and other colleagues will work to advance targeted legislation to improve and update the ESA by focusing on transparency and species recovery.”

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